The U.S. has reached another startling milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic: Roughly one out of every 500 Americans has died of the virus.
According to Johns Hopkins, nearly 667,000 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19 since the virus arrived in the country in early 2020. The Census Bureau reports that the U.S. population as of April 2020 was 331 million.
The U.S. surpassed the milestone as the country continues to deal with the delta variant, a more contagious variant strain of the virus. The average daily case rate in the country has exploded in recent weeks from a low of 8,000 a day in late June to the current case rate of 140,000 a day.
Deaths have also been on the rise in recent weeks. The U.S. is currently losing more than 1,300 people a day to COVID-19 — an amount not seen since March.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in both total COVID-19 cases and deaths despite having the world's largest supply of vaccines.
Despite the spread of the delta variant, vaccinations have been proven to protect people from the most severe cases of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says who are not yet vaccinated are 11 times more likely to die of the virus and 10 times more likely to be hospitalized.