The United States has crossed yet another grim landmark in the battle against COVID-19, reporting a staggering death toll of more than 900,000, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.
The tragic toll, driven in part by the highly-contagious Omicron variant, comes more than 13 months into a vaccination drive that has been complicated by misinformation, political and legal strife, and vaccine hesitancy in segments of the population.
The US, the richest country in the world, has continuously recorded the highest death toll of any country throughout the pandemic. Public health experts say reaching the 1 million death mark is “inevitable.”
“It’s absolutely staggering,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked the number of COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic. “It’s unreal, frankly. And what makes it an even … greater heartbreak — as if the loss of 900,000 souls weren’t enough of a heartbreak — is the fact that it’s probably an undercount of the number of people that we’ve lost.”
Some health experts believe that the high death toll is a testament to the failure of the national vaccination drive.