JANUARY is the deadliest month of the pandemic so far with more than 79,200 Americans dead despite there being four days left till February.
This comes as the White House projects that as many as 90,000 more people in the US will die from the coronavirus in the next three weeks.
January has seen nearly 80,000 Americans die from Covid-19Credit: EPA
According to John Hopkins University, the death toll of more than 79,200 this month breaks the previous record total of 77,400 in December.
The sobering milestone comes exactly one year since the United States identified its first Covid-19 case on January 20 last year.
Twelve months on, the US has seen 428,654 deaths from the disease and more than 25.5 million cases making it the worst-hit country in the world.
Yesterday, another 152,000 infections were recorded along with 4,077 new deaths, reports say.
At least 107,444 Covid patients are currently being treated in hospital with more than 20,000 in ICU wards.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration launched its new level-with-America health briefings on Wednesday as the newly-elected President promised to be straight with the nation about the state of the outbreak.
The White House’s prediction of 90,000 more deaths in the next 24 days served as a stark reminder of the brutal road ahead.
The Biden administration predicts that 90,000 more people will die in the next four weeksCredit: AP:Associated Press
“I know this is not news we all want to hear, but this is something we must say so we are all aware,” said Dr Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If we are united in action we can turn things around.”
The new briefings, set for three times a week, are part of Biden’s attempt to rebuild trust and mobilize Americans to follow health guidance and to break down public resistance to the vaccine.
Dr Anthony Fauci said there was reason to be concerned about the impact of some Covid mutations on vaccines, but he also said scientists have plenty of options for adjustments to maintain effectiveness.
He said there was particular concern about the so-called South African variant, because lab tests have shown it can diminish the protective power of the vaccines approved to date.
Fauci stressed that the level of protection provided was still well within what he called the “cushion” of vaccine effectiveness, but added that the government was working with pharmaceutical companies on potential “booster” shots for the new variants.
Dr Walensky said her agency’s latest forecast indicates the US will reach between 479,000 and 514,000 deaths by Feb. 20.
The Trump administration ended the practice of regular scientific briefings early in the pandemic, after the brash Republican expressed anger over the dire warnings about the virus from experts.
More than 20,000 people are being treated in ICU wards across the USCredit: AP:Associated Press