The U.S. has surpassed another grim benchmark amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has recorded its 400,000th death linked to the virus.
The bleak milestone comes just two days before the one-year anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's announcement that it had detected the virus in the U.S. for the first time. On Jan. 21, 2020, the CDC reported that it had detected the first case of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. at an airport in Washington state.
The 400,000 U.S. deaths represent about 20% of all COVID-19 deaths worldwide. The U.S. population represents about 4% of the world's population.
Johns Hopkins reported Friday that the world had surpassed 2 million deaths linked to the virus.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, the U.S. has averaged more than 3,300 deaths linked to the virus each day for the past week. On a seven-day rolling average, that ranks among the highest rates ever seen since the start of the pandemic.
The good news is that the COVID Tracking Project reports that the spread of the virus has slowed ever so slightly in the past week. Cases are falling or staying level in 47 states and territories across the country, indicating that the surge likely caused by holiday travel may be coming to an end.
And while hospitals across the country remain overcrowded, the number of Americans battling COVID-19 in a hospital has fallen by about 10,000 in the past few weeks.
Despite the untold impact of hundreds of thousands of loved ones lost, vaccines offer some light at the end of the pandemic's tunnel. According to Bloomberg, nearly 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at a rate of about 777,000 a day.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office Wednesday, has said it is his administration's goal to distribute 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days in office.