The U.S. has reached another devastating milestone in the fight against COVID-19: One in 500 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the nation’s first reported infection.
As of this week, 663,913 people have died from coronavirus in the United States, according to new data from Johns Hopkins University. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s report, the national population was 331.4 million as of April 2020.
A summer of the Delta variant and continued vaccine hesitation has allowed coronavirus to continue spreading. Hospitals are struggling again with the number of patients needing treatment and staffing issues. In an effort to manage the spread and prevent more unnecessary deaths, many cities are implementing mandates for vaccinations in workplaces and mask requirements in schools.
The data from Johns Hopkins shows the U.S. averaged more than 152,300 new COVID-19 cases each day over the past week as of Tuesday — more than 13 times than what it was on June 22, when the year’s average was at its lowest with 11,303 daily cases.
As of now, only 54 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, meaning millions of people are still at a high risk of contracting the deadly virus. Data shows that both Christians and young people are among the most hesitant groups to get vaccinated. RELEVANT spoke with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, about why Christians in particular are hesitant to get the vaccine.
“It’s up to all of us, by finding a way to keep the virus at bay, to protect them,” Collins said. “And if you choose not to do that, you’re contributing to their risk in a fashion that doesn’t sound like loving your neighbor.”
In addition to not getting vaccinated, mask requirements have been lifted and social distancing regulations in various states have faded away. This combination has resulted in widespread disease with no end date in sight.