In the past 28 days, more than 63,000 Americans have reportedly died due to the coronavirus.
Over the weekend, multiple outlets including People and CNN declared December to be the deadliest month since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, on December 23, the nation reached a record high of monthly coronavirus-related deaths — surpassing the previous record of 55,000 deaths in April.
The New York Times added on Monday that in the past week, there has been an average of 184,951 COVID-19 cases per day.
Sadly, due to holiday travel — which was not recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — experts foresee a surge in coronavirus contractions in the upcoming weeks.
“We very well might see a post-seasonal — in the sense of Christmas, New Year’s — surge,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and key member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
In fact, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it screened 1,128,773 people at airports nationwide on Saturday, making it the third-busiest day for U.S. air travel since March.
“When you’re dealing with a baseline of 200,000 new cases a day and about 2,000 deaths per day, with the hospitalizations over 120,000, we are really at a very critical point,” Fauci continued. ”As we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse.”
Dr. Peter Hotez, an infectious disease specialist at the Baylor College of Medicine, was quoted by CNN saying, “[January’s projections] are just nightmarish.”
Per predictions from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 193,000 individuals could lose their lives over the next two months.
Despite this, Hotez says, “People can still save the lives of their loved ones by practicing that social distancing and masks. And remember, vaccines are around the corner.”
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for two vaccines for the virus, one from Moderna and the other from Pfizer-BioNTech.
Though the U.S. hoped to immunize 20 million Americans by the end of December, CNN said on Monday that one count from the CDC shows that about 2.1 million have been given the shot.
As of Monday, December 28, at 2:11 p.m. EST, the New York Times reports that over 19.2 million people in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19 and around 334,130 have died due to coronavirus-related complications.