Sept. 15, 2021 -- The U.S. has passed another sad milestone in the pandemic: Now, 1 in every 500 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the country’s first reported infection last year.

As of Tuesday night, nearly 664,000 people in the U.S. had died from the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In April 2020, the U.S. population was 331.4 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That means .2% of the U.S. population has died of COVID-19. Half of those deaths have occurred since Christmas 2020, according to USA Today.

COVID-19 deaths have increased due to the more contagious Delta variant, with the number of average daily deaths nearly tripling during the past month, CNN reported. Hospitals are running out of beds and struggling to handle the increase in COVID-19 patients.

As of last week, the U.S. reported more COVID-19 cases in 2021 than in 2020, USA Today said. During the past month alone, the country has recorded 4.3 million new cases and more than 40,000 deaths.

Public health officials are calling for the remaining 75 million eligible Americans who haven’t yet received a shot to get vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19, compared to those who are fully vaccinated, according to a new CDC study.

“Looking at the cases over the past 2 months when the Delta was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about 4.5 times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said during a COVID-19 news briefing.

Show Sources

CNN: “1 in 500 US residents has died of Covid-19.”

Johns Hopkins University: “COVID-19 Dashboard.”

U.S. Census Bureau: “QuickFacts: United States.”

USA Today: “1 of every 500 Americans has died from the coronavirus: Latest COVID-19 updates.”

CDC: “Monitoring Incidence of COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, by Vaccination Status -- 13 U.S. Jurisdictions, April 4-July 17, 2021.”

C-SPAN: “White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing,” Sept. 10, 2021.

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