Vaccinations slowed its arrival, but an unwanted milestone got here just the same. The US has now recorded more than 600,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, according to stats from Johns Hopkins. The silver lining is that deaths have plummeted since vaccinations went into wide circulation, with the daily average below 1,000 since April and below 500 since early June, reports the Wall Street Journal. On Monday, the count was 343, a nearly 10-fold drop from the average of about 3,300 a day in January. NPR has this context: "Barely a month passed between 400,000 and a half-million deaths, but it has taken nearly four times as long to reach the 600,000 mark."
However, one general worry among health officials is that the pace of vaccinations is slowing even as a more contagious variant first detected in India is spreading in the US. More than 174 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 52.5% of the population, per the Washington Post. But roughly a third of Americans remain resistant to getting a shot, putting President Biden's goal of having 70% of the nation vaccinated by July 4 all but out of reach. (China's "bat lady" rejects accusations that the virus escaped from her lab in Wuhan.)