Pandemic Persists: US Has Observed More COVID Deaths in 2021 Than 2020, CDC Data Shows
© AP Photo / John MinchilloПациент скорой помощи в Нью-Йорке
© AP Photo / John Minchillo
Last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logged 385,343 COVID-19-related deaths in the nation. While the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has brought some sense of normalcy back to parts of the country, experts believe the premature rolling back of mitigation measures may have fatally impacted the unvaccinated and immunocompromised.
With more than a month left in 2021, the US has recorded more deaths from COVID-19 in the past 11 months than recorded in all of 2020, according to data from the CDC.
As of this article's publication, 388,436 COVID-19-related deaths have been logged in the US this year.
Additionally, more than 196.1 million people (59.1% of the total US population) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The US vaccine rollout initially kicked off in mid-December 2020.
Some experts have stated that the US needs to vaccinate at least 70% of the population to stop the spread of the virus. Many have recommended a higher vaccination rate to achieve an "endemic."
Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the New York Times that many sections of the country remain unvaccinated, but are behaving as if the nation is out of the pandemic - despite that being far from the truth.
© REUTERS / MARIO ANZUONIVisitors stop by the COVID-19 memorial "Strength and Love" made of 26,661 white flags on the lawn of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2021 (Each flag represents an individual who died in LA county during COVID-19 pandemic.)
Visitors stop by the COVID-19 memorial "Strength and Love" made of 26,661 white flags on the lawn of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2021 (Each flag represents an individual who died in LA county during COVID-19 pandemic.)
"We have the very unfortunate situation of not a high level of vaccine coverage and basically, in most places, a return to normal behaviors that put people at greater risk of coming in contact with the virus," Nuzzo said.
This behavior allows the highly contagious disease to spread and mutate, experts have warned.
"If you take no protections whatsoever, you have a virus that is capable of moving faster and you have dangerous gaps in immunity, that adds up to, unfortunately, a lot of continued serious illness and deaths," the epidemiologist pointed out.
The grim milestone was reached just as the US enters into several weeks of travel for the holiday season.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that fully vaccinated individuals should feel free to visit their family and friends who are also vaccinated.
The infectious disease expert noted that travelers should follow CDC recommendations and wear a face mask, no matter their method of travel.