The U.S. has officially suffered more than 800,000 COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Hopkins has been the leading recorder for COVID-19 deaths since the outset of the pandemic, and Tuesday’s grim marker comes just over two months since the U.S. surpassed 700,000 deaths in early October. The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths of any country in the world, accounting for 15% of global COVID-19 deaths despite accounting for 4% of the world’s population, according to The Associated Press.
The mounting toll means that the majority of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have taken place in 2021, with the U.S. entering the year with a death toll around 370,000. Experts believe the death rate will decrease, predicting the U.S. won’t hit 880,000 deaths until March of 2022, according to the AP. (RELATED: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Block To Biden Vaccine Mandate)
The vast majority of those dying from the virus in 2021 have been unvaccinated, and doctors say the deaths were largely preventable.
“Almost all the people dying are now dying preventable deaths,” Dr. Chris Beyrer said, according to the AP. “And that’s because they’re not immunized. And you know that, God, it’s a terrible tragedy.”
Americans entered 2021 believing the pandemic was nearly behind them, but the virus surged back largely thanks to the delta variant. The staying power of the virus has led to numerous economic setbacks that have damaged President Joe Biden’s approval rating as Americans’ wallets suffer from record-high inflation and supply chain backlogs.
The Biden administration has sought to impose sweeping vaccine mandates across the country, but the effort has met with firm pushback from state governments. All aspects of his mandate are currently under stay orders from federal judges while the legality of his mandate is decided in court.