- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 600,000 on Tuesday, hitting another milestone even as daily cases and deaths have trended downward and more places are lifting pandemic restrictions.

The death toll is comparable to the number of American lives lost to cancer on an annual basis, statistics show. Globally, about 3.8 million people died from COVID-19, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Also on Tuesday, California and New York lifted most of their remaining restrictions. In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency and said all mandates and restrictions will be lifted next month.

Daily COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. declined to an average of about 340 since the first vaccine arrived in mid-December, a drastic decline from a high of more than 3,400 in mid-January, The Associated Press reported.

There is an average of about 14,000 new cases per day, down from a daily average of about a quarter-million during the winter.

The first known deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. occurred in early February 2020.

As of Tuesday, almost 53% of all Americans are partially vaccinated against COVID-19 while nearly 44% are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lately, demand for vaccines has dipped, leading to an excess in doses in some places and doubts that the U.S. will meet President Biden’s goal of having 70% of all adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. Almost 65% of adults 18 years and older have received at least one vaccine dose.

The U.S. was averaging about 1 million vaccine injections daily as of last week, a drop from a daily average of 3.3 million in mid-April, CDC data shows.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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