US COVID-19 deaths reach 800,000 when Delta ravages in 2021

December 12 (Reuters) – The United States reached 800,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, according to Reuters statistics, as the nation prepares for a potential increase in infections due to more time spent indoors with colder weather and the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.

The milestone means that the US death toll from this single virus now exceeds the entire population of North Dakota.

Even with vaccines widely and freely available, the country has lost more lives due to the virus this year than in 2020 due to the more contagious Delta variant and people refusing to be inoculated against COVID-19.

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Since the beginning of the year, more than 450,000 people in the United States have died after receiving COVID-19, or 57% of all U.S. deaths from the disease since the pandemic began.

The deaths this year were mostly in unvaccinated patients, say health experts. Deaths have increased despite advances in the care of COVID patients and new treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies.

It took 111 days for American deaths to jump from 600,000 to 700,000, according to Reuters’ analysis. The next 100,000 deaths took only 73 days.

Other countries have lost far fewer lives per capita in the last 11 months, according to the Reuters analysis.

Among the group of seven (G7) richest nations, the United States ranks the worst in terms of deaths per capita from COVID-19 between January 1 and November 30, according to the Reuters analysis.

The death rate in the United States was more than three times higher than in neighboring Canada and 11 times higher than Japan.

Even when the United States is compared to a larger pool of affluent countries with access to vaccines, it ranks close to the bottom. Among the 38 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States is in 30th place. Only Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Colombia, Poland and Slovenia had more covid-19 deaths per capita. New Zealand had the least.

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Compared to the EU, the United States has reported 1.3 times the number of deaths per capita in the last 11 months than the entire bloc.

Among more than 200 nations and territories tracked by Reuters, the United States ranks 36th.

The United States has the highest number of reported total COVID-19 deaths in the world, followed by Brazil and India, according to Reuters statistics. With only 4% of the world’s population, the country accounts for approximately 14% of all reported COVID-19 deaths and 19% of cases worldwide. The country is set to soon pass 50 million cases.

New infections in the United States averaged around 120,000 a day, with Michigan contributing the most cases a day. COVID-19 patients filled Michigan hospitals at a record level, with three out of four unvaccinated, according to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

Researchers are still evaluating the effect of the new Omicron variant and whether vaccines can provide adequate protection against it.


The Delta variant is still the dominant version of the virus in the United States.

Of the 10 states that reported the most deaths per capita in the past 11 months, eight were from the south of the country – Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia, according to the Reuters analysis.

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Approximately 60% of the US population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, CDC data showed.

Fears of the new variant have prompted Americans to line up for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines at record speeds. Just under one million people a day received booster doses of one of the three authorized vaccines last week, the highest rate since regulators nodded in multiple shots.

“We need to act together at this time to address the impact of the current cases we are seeing, which is largely Delta, and to prepare for the possibility of more Omicron,” said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a briefing in the White House on Tuesday.

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Reporting by Roshan Abraham and Aparupa Mazumder in Bengaluru; Edited by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Berkrot

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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