In the U.S., the CCP Virus daily death toll breached 4,300 on Jan. 12. It’s the highest one day number since the pandemic broke out last year. The total U.S. death count is in excess of 394,000 and is set to soon exceed 407,000, the amount of Americans who died during the Second World War. The number of new infections is between 200,000 and 300,000 per day, a big increase from November that was usually below 200,000.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor of both Trump and Biden, said that the death toll could keep rising this month, reflecting increased infections due to holiday travel. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts the death toll to be over 400,000 by Jan. 20 when Trump exits the office.
According to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the death toll could exceed 731,000 by April 1 if proper social distancing and safety protocols are not maintained. But with a vaccine rollout, 33,000 lives could be saved. That figure could be 45,000 if the vaccine rollout is done with more urgency.
Even as the number of infections grows, people are neglecting CCP virus rules. For instance, the family-owned business Carver Hangar in Oregon defied the state’s indoor dining ban and resumed operations on Jan. 1. The restaurant saw customers line up to get in.
“We’re not going to back down because our employees still need to eat, they still need that income… The statement that we’re making is: ‘Every life is essential. You have the right to survive. Nobody should tell you what you can and cannot do to provide for your family,’” owner Bryan Mitchell told The Guardian.
According to the CDC, more than 10 million Americans have already received the first dose of the vaccine
In total, over 29 million vaccines have been distributed; 35 percent of the distributed vaccines have been administered. Health authorities have been holding back batches of vaccines as a precaution to make sure that the doses would be available for people who might need a second shot.
But officials are confident that there won’t be production shortfalls, so the government may release as many vaccines as possible so that the maximum number of people can be inoculated. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has also approved more places to be opened for distributing the vaccine, including pharmacies and community health centers.
Pharmacies can play a critical role in a speedy dispersal of the vaccine. Karen Lynch from CVS, one of the biggest pharmacy chains in America, said that the company can administer 25 million vaccines every month through its retail chains across the country. The company’s network of 85,000 stores has the potential to reach up to 85 percent of the American population.
“We’re very hopeful that the federal program will open up soon and open a more direct distribution into pharmacies across the country, which will open up access… We have a large reach,” she told CNN. The Walgreens drugstore chain expects to distribute 30 million doses of the vaccine by the end of summer.