Coronavirus update: White House commemorates 1 million U.S. dead

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More vaccinated Americans are dying

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 82,256,336 (82,061,553)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 998,898 (998,078)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 519,748,728 (518,823,826)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,259,219 (6,256,043)‌

White House marks 1 million U.S. dead

President Biden is using the second Global COVID Summit, a virtual gathering of world leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector companies, to commemorate the deaths of 1 million Americans from COVID-19.

The president may be a little early. The semi-official tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University shows that the death toll is approaching one million but is currently short of that mark. Even so, Biden says it’s as good a time as any to pause and reflect.

"To those who are grieving, and asking yourself how will you go on without him or what will you do without her, I understand,” the president said in a statement. I know the pain of that black hole in your heart. It is unrelenting. But I also know the ones you love are never truly gone. They will always be with you.”

More vaccinated people are dying as subvariants spread

Just a few months ago, the number of unvaccinated people dying from COVID-19 far outnumbered those who were vaccinated. But the proliferation of subvariants seems to have flipped that script.

Federal data shows that less than a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths were among the vaccinated in the second half of September -- before the Omicron variant's arrival. But during January and February, more than 40% of COVID-19 deaths were among vaccinated people.

While the subvariants are believed to cause less severe symptoms, health experts say elderly people who were among the first to be vaccinated may be less protected, especially if they haven’t received a booster shot.

U.S. health officials hid early data on COVID-19

The acting director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) told Congress Wednesday that U.S. health officials honored a request from China and concealed early genomic sequences of the COVID-19 virus. Critics say that information could have been used to trace the origin of the coronavirus.

Lawrence Tabak told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the NIH “eliminated from public view” the information retrieved from Wuhan, China, in 2020 -- the location of the earliest outbreak.

Some scientists say the data could perhaps resolve whether the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology or passed naturally from animals to humans.

Around the nation

  • Colorado: UCHealth in Aurora has established a clinic that will focus its attention on the condition known as “long COVID.” Health officials in the state say up to 7% of Colorado's population is estimated to have long COVID.

  • New Jersey: As state lawmakers begin work on crafting next year’s budget, pressure is growing on Gov. Phil Murphy to give the legislature a say in how any remaining COVID-19 aid money is spent. The state received $6.24 billion through the American Rescue Plan and much of it remains unspent.

  • Maryland: With new cases of COVID-19 rising, health officials are urging people to mask up indoors once again. Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman told WJZ-TV that cases are rising again and that residents should take all precautions.

  • Pennsylvania: State health officials have ranked Pennsylvania counties according to their vaccination rates. Montour County has come out on top with a vaccination rate of 76.9%. That’s 12.3% higher than the vaccination rate for the entire state.

  • California: The Los Angeles Unified School District has postponed a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for students aged 12 and older from this fall to next year. The move aligns the school district’s policy with the rest of the state.

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