The United States has just passed the 500,000th death mark due to Covid-19. Let’s take a look back at the key dates that have marked the evolution of the epidemic in the country.
From the first death to the half millionth death, here are the key dates in the evolution of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States.
On February 29, 2020, the United States announced the first official death from the epidemic in the country. This was a man in his fifties, already in poor health who died from the effects of Covid-19 in Washington State. “There is no reason to panic,” President Donald Trump said at a press conference at the time. Officials later confirmed that more people had died from the disease as early as mid-February.
On May 27, 2020, the US passed the 100,000 coronavirus death mark, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. While the United States already has the highest number of deaths and infections in the world in absolute terms, the deconfining process was largely underway across the country, driven by Donald Trump, determination to revitalize the economy.
Trump tests positive for Covid-19
On April 3, 2020, after advising against the general use of masks, health officials have now advised Americans to cover their faces when leaving their homes to curb the epidemic. “It costs nothing, I would say, go ahead, do it,” Donald Trump said at a press conference. But “I don’t think I’m going to do it,” he added.
On September 22, 2020, six weeks before the presidential election, the country counted its 200,000th death attributed to Covid-19.
“Covid-19 will be the third leading cause of death in the United States this year, more than accidents, strokes, and Alzheimer’s,” said Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On October 2, 2020, Donald Trump announced in a tweet that he had tested positive for Covid-19. When he showed symptoms, he was admitted to a military hospital for four days. His presidential campaign was interrupted and resumed at a furious pace a few weeks later.
300,000 dead and a first vaccine
As of December 14, 2020, more than 300,000 people have officially died from Covid-19 in the United States. In the midst of the holiday season, the country is experienced a dramatic increase in infections with more than 200,000 new cases per day and between 2,500 to 3000 deaths per day. But December 14 also coincided with the start of a massive vaccination campaign, with a New York nurse becoming the first American to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
On January 19, the United States crossed the threshold of 400,000 deaths from the virus, on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration. On January 20, in a serious speech, the new Democratic president warned that the pandemic was about to enter its “most difficult and deadly phase” and called on Americans to face this “dark winter” together.
The milestone of 500,000 deaths has been passed
Biden, who said that he made fighting the epidemic his most urgent priority, has signed a series of executive orders in the wake of the outbreak, from mandatory masks in federal buildings to quarantines for travelers. On February 22, a new milestone was reached: more than half a million people in the United States have officially died from the coronavirus. “We haven’t seen anything like this in over 100 years, since the 1918 pandemic,” says immunologist Anthony Fauci, an advisor to Joe Biden. Thankfully, many indicators, particularly vaccination rates, offer the public real hope.