Just over a year after the first deaths from COVID-19 in the US, the nation is poised to hit the grim milestone of 500,000 deaths from the virus — a tragic moment which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) just commemorated by holding a moment of silence on the House floor Monday morning.
“The chair asks all members in the chamber as well as members and staff throughout the Capitol to rise for a moment of silence in remembrance of more than 500,000 Americans who have passed away from the COVID-19 virus,” Pelosi solemnly declared.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 22, 2021
The nation was slammed with a second wave — for some areas like California, a first wave — of the virus over the holiday season, causing the death toll to continue to skyrocket.
Though reaching 500,000 deaths is far worse than many predicted at the outset of the pandemic, cases and deaths in the US appear to finally be on the downswing as the nation nears the first anniversary of “15 days to stop the spread.”
According to the COVID Tracking Project on Sunday, “Today’s 7-day average of cases is the lowest since October 23, towards the beginning of the winter wave,” adding that we’ve “recorded 40 straight days of falling hospitalizations.”
Today’s 7-day average of cases is the lowest since October 23, towards the beginning of the winter wave. pic.twitter.com/SVmjPzzvDu
— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) February 22, 2021
Johns Hopkins professor and surgeon Dr. Marty Makary wrote in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal over the weekend that coronavirus will be “mostly gone” by April due to herd immunity and vaccines — despite claims from government health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci that the pandemic could drag on into 2022.
“There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection,” Makary wrote. “As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect COVID will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.”