US passes grim milestone of 750,000 COVID-19 deaths

US passes grim milestone of 750,000 COVID-19 deaths
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The United States has surpassed the sobering milestone of 750,000 COVID-19 deaths despite the widespread availability of vaccines.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s official count, the U.S. had 750,431 confirmed deaths due to the coronavirus as of Thursday morning. The U.S. has had more than 46 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

The U.S. reached 700,000 COVID-19 deaths — another staggering figure highlighting the severity of the pandemic on Americans — just a month ago. 

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On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFauci: Omicron appears to be less severe Officials seek to reassure public over omicron fears The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Omicron tests vaccines; Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE signed off on a recommendation made by an advisory panel to allow children as young as 5 years old to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 

The authorization makes roughly 28 million children eligible to receive the vaccine — welcome news for parents eager to get their children inoculated before the holidays. Health officials have emphasized that vaccinating Americans is key to curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the CDC’s action this week was considered another milestone toward achieving widespread vaccination.

Cases appeared to be trending downward last month and in mid-October, President BidenJoe BidenPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Biden to award Medal of Honor to three soldiers who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan: report MORE praised the country’s progress while also warning that it was also in a “critical period.”

Biden said at the time that the number of unvaccinated Americans, 66 million, was an improvement from 100 million in July but was “still unacceptably high.”

“That’s important progress, but ... now's not the time to let up,” Biden said. “We have a lot more to do. We're in a very critical period as we work to turn the corner on COVID-19.”

According to CDC data, the U.S. reported more than 74,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and more than 125,000 the day prior. 

Roughly 78 percent of Americans aged 12 years and older have been at least partially vaccinated while 68 percent are fully vaccinated.