- The number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. passed the 200,00 threshold on Tuesday.
- The U.S. has seen more coronavirus-related deaths than any other country in the world.
- In a best-case scenario, a coronavirus vaccine will be developed before the end of the year and administered to the entirety of the U.S. population before 2022.
The official death toll from the coronavirus in the United States has now surpassed 200,000, according to a new report from The New York Times. While the coronavirus death rate has seemingly slowed down in recent weeks, experts warn that we may see a massive surge in new coronavirus cases come October once the weather cools and flu season kicks into high gear. As a point of reference, the coronavirus death toll in the U.S hit 100,000 on May 28, which is to say it took just under four months to go from 100,000 to 200,000.
As it stands now, the U.S. has lost more people to the coronavirus than any other country in the world. And while former hotspot areas like Italy have managed to put the coronavirus firmly in the rearview mirror, the U.S. is still struggling to keep new infections at bay. As we reported yesterday, a number of states are currently experiencing an uptick in new cases. All told, the average number of new cases per day in the country currently hovers in the 40,000-50,000 range.
The Times adds:
Fewer new cases have been detected weekly since a summer surge in the South and West peaked in late July. But the nation’s caseload is again growing, especially in states in the middle of the country like Wisconsin, Montana and North Dakota. Early months of the pandemic had affected mainly urban, coastal areas. The virus is spreading more broadly now, through rural communities and college towns. The arrival of flu season and the prospect of cooler fall air — likely to send many people indoors — have added to fears about what the coming months may bring.
A vaccine may be the only way for the U.S. to finally conquer the coronavirus, but even that is fraught with issues. For starters, the first incarnation of a coronavirus vaccine may only be effective in 60% of people. And speaking to the severity of the ongoing health crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci last month said the FDA would likely approve a coronavirus vaccine even if it only worked 50% of the time.
Efficacy issues notwithstanding, it’s also possible that the first coronavirus vaccine may require people to receive multiple doses. This could prove to be an issue unto itself insofar that it would reduce the number of available vaccine doses from the start. In a best-case scenario, researchers will have an approved vaccine ready to go by the end of the year. In that scenario, some believe that the entire U.S. population could receive the vaccine by the end of 2021.
Globally, the situation is a bit different. Touching on this subject, Bill Gates a few weeks ago said that less developed countries may not be able to move past the coronavirus until 2022 at the earliest. In a worst-case scenario, the CEO of the world’s largest vaccine maker recently said that it might take as long as 4-5 years to vaccine the entire world’s population.