COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 450,000 But Infections Slow — Where Does The U.S. Stand? The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 450,000, but the infection rate has slowed slightly as roughly 28 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 450,000 But Infections Slow — Where Does The U.S. Stand?

COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 450,000 But Infections Slow — Where Does The U.S. Stand?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/964581449/964581450" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 450,000, but the infection rate has slowed slightly as roughly 28 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

We begin this hour with an update on the latest COVID-19 numbers, both the ones that look encouraging and the ones that still look, frankly, pretty awful. In the awful column, the U.S. is barreling towards half a million deaths from COVID-19. We will hit that milestone later this month. But a glimmer of good news - infections have slowed these last couple of weeks.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That's right. A month ago, the U.S. saw more than 300,000 new cases of coronavirus in a single day. Yesterday, that number was down to about 123,000. And declines are happening in all but a few states.

KELLY: But the still-huge number of new cases is worrisome. Here's how Dr. Anthony Fauci put it on NPR's Fresh Air.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

ANTHONY FAUCI: That means the virus has almost an open playing field. To replicate means you give it an opportunity to mutate.

KELLY: So masks and social distancing must continue, Fauci says. And we need to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.