COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. passes 500,000

At 5:28 p.m. EST, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows a cumulative U.S. death total of 500,071.

Disease modelers projected back in October that more than half a million people in the U.S. would die from COVID-19 by the end of February.

Their grim projections came true today. The Associated Press reported at 4:57 p.m. Eastern Time that the U.S. death toll had exceeded 500,000.

The AP said the count came from Johns Hopkins University. The university's Coronavirus Resource Center has become an oft-visited resource for U.S. and international counts of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

This screenshot was taken at 5:28 p.m.

The CDC’s count of cumulative COVID-19 deaths is at 497, 415, but it was last updated at 12:24 p.m. today.

The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association put out a joint statement yesterday in anticipation of today’s news: “We mourn the loss of 500,000 people in this country, a toll that has left gaping holes in the lives of those they left behind,” the statement said in part. “We also recognize the significant declines in life expectancy our country has experienced, largely as a result of the pandemic.”

The joint statement also sounded a hopeful note the COVID-19 vaccines: “We encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn. Vaccines are safe, effective, prevent illness and save lives, and are key to protecting you from COVID-19 and ending the pandemic.”

According to a Johns Hopkins tally that was late updated this morning at 3 a.m., 64,177, 474 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to people in the U.S. and 19,438,495 have been fully vaccinated, which works out to 5.94% of the population.

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