The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States is nearing the 500,000-mark as the nation's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci said that the numbers are "stunning" and "almost unbelievable but it's true." The US is the worst-hit nation by the coronavirus pandemic, as it first recorded COVID-19 cases in January last year, and now it has over 28,133,620 infections reported.
The death toll from COVID-19 currently stands at 498,880, as half a million mark is likely to reach in the next few days. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci said on NBC's "Meet the Press", "Half a million deaths. It's just -- it's terrible. It is historic."
"We haven’t seen anything even close to this for well over a hundred years since the 1918 pandemic of influenza," Fauci told NBC, adding, “It’s something that is stunning when you look at the numbers, almost unbelievable, but it’s true."
According to a report in Axios, when USA surpasses the 500,000 mark, President Joe Biden will issue remarks, followed by a moment of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony.
Fauci, talking on CNN's "State of the Union," said the US could be "approaching a degree of normality" by the end of this year, however, he added that there is still a possibility that Americans would be wearing masks into 2022. Earlier, at CNN townhall, Biden said that normalcy will return in the US by next Christmas.
The pace of vaccinations in the US is rising as the COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalisations have decreased sharply after peaking in early January. According to a state-by-state tally, over 61 million people have received the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, reports Bloomberg.