Yet more grim numbers in the coronavirus pandemic: The US death toll topped 150,000 Wednesday evening, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. More than 1,400 coronavirus deaths—or "roughly one fatality for every minute of the day," as the Washington Post puts it—were reported across the US Wednesday; it was the highest daily death toll in two months. Some states saw their highest-ever daily tolls from the pandemic Wednesday, including Florida with 216 deaths and California with 197, far above the 159 record set in California last week, per CNN. The average number of daily deaths has risen week-over-week in at least 29 states, though daily reports of new infections are down slightly from last week.
The current death toll is far above what had been predicted earlier in the pandemic by leading health experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said in early April that deaths could stay below 100,000 so long as states didn't pull back too early on prevention measures, the New York Times reports. CNN notes the pace of the deaths since the first was reported in the US on Feb. 29: It took 54 days to hit the 50,000 mark, then 34 days to get to 100,000, and now 63 days to reach 150,000. It cites a report from Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security scholars who say a "reset" is needed and suggest 10 steps that should be taken, including a universal mask mandate and renewed stay-at-home orders for hard-hit locations. (Read more coronavirus stories.)