1:45 PM PDT, May 12, 2022
In a grim reminder that the pandemic is far from over, the United States has surpassed one million deaths from COVID-19, the White House said.
The White House released a statement Thursday from President Joe Biden saying the nation has marked “a tragic milestone” and each death was “an irreplaceable loss.”
“One million empty chairs around the dinner table. Each an irreplaceable loss,” Biden said in a statement. “Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a nation forever changed because of this pandemic.”
“As a nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow. To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, as we have with more testing, vaccines, and treatments than ever before,” the president added.
America has the highest official total in the world, according to BBC, but the news outlet also reports that the World Health Organization believes the true death toll may be much higher elsewhere.
America has also recorded more than 80 million COVID-19 cases, out of a population of 330 million, BBC reported.
The Centers for Disease Control says new cases have plummeted and deaths have dropped from an average of more than 2,500 per day during the winter surge, to an average of 320 deaths per day this week.
The news comes as China risks a “tsunami” of COVID-19 infections potentially resulting in 1.6 million deaths, Bloomberg reported. If that “tsunami” does happen, it could topple the America’s total of most deaths in the world from the illness.
If the Chinese government abandons its long-held COVID Zero policy and allows the highly infectious omicron variant to spread unchecked, researchers at Shanghai’s Fudan University warn of catastrophe in the country, Bloomberg reported.