COVID-19 deaths eclipse 700,000 in US as delta variant rages


October 4, 2021

Charlie Ehlert, University of Utah Health via AP file

A COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit of University of Utah Health on July 30, 2021, in Salt Lake City.

It's a milestone that by all accounts didn't have to happen this soon.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 700,000 late Friday - a number greater than the population of Boston. The last 100,000 deaths occurred during a time when vaccines - which overwhelmingly prevent deaths, hospitalizations and serious illness - were available to any American over the age of 12.

The milestone is deeply frustrating to doctors, public health officials and the American public, who watched a pandemic that had been easing earlier in the summer take a dark turn. Tens of millions of Americans have refused to get vaccinated, allowing the highly contagious delta variant to tear through the country and send the death toll from 600,000 to 700,000 in 3 1/2 months.


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