The coronavirus pandemic had its deadliest month in January in the United States, with more than 79,000 deaths, as reported by U.S. News. Data from Johns Hopkins University reveal that the first month of 2021 beat the previous high of December 2020 by more than a thousand fatalities. December's record of more than 77,000 deaths was a large jump from November, when 36,964 died. December and January alone made up more than one-third of all coronavirus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, and January saw the United States mark the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths. The current death toll of the coronavirus is more than 425,000.
The high in deaths is matched by record hospitalizations during the month, with a peak of 132,474 people reached on January 6. It also saw the country surpass 24 million cases. The blame for the exponential rise in cases and deaths from the virus has been placed on travel during the holidays as well as general fatigue after months of living under restrictions.
However, despite the tragic records, there has been growing positivity that the country is beginning to handle the latest surge. Since reaching its peak on January 6, hospitalizations have been declining. Wednesday saw 107,444 hospitalizations, the lowest number recorded since December 10, 2020, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. This same period of peaks also saw the approval and rollout of vaccines, raising hope that there is an end in sight.
President Joe Biden has made addressing the pandemic the foremost focus of his administration, describing the strategy as a "wartime effort" during a press conference on Tuesday, as covered by The Inquisitr. In response to complaints from state officials that the rollout of vaccines is moving too slowly with an inconsistent amount of vaccines arriving on a week-to-week basis, the president vowed to increase the amount of the vaccine delivered by 16 percent beginning next week. That means the federal government will send out 10.1 million doses of the vaccine next week, after sending 8.6 million this week. He also pledged to provide three-week forecasts of the vaccine rollout for each state in order to ensure a smoother distribution.
Biden also revealed that the United States has purchased 200 million extra vaccine doses, 100 million each from the drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, with the expectation that this will bring reserves to 600 million doses. This would be enough to vaccinate 300 million people, with the president stating his goal of it being accomplished by the end of the summer or early fall.