Covid: US on verge of exceeding 500,000 deaths

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A family says goodbye to their father's flag draped coffin

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The US is on track to top 500,000 deaths from Covid-19 – the most for any country in the world – on Monday.

It comes just over a year after the first transmission of the novel coronavirus, first detected in China, was recorded on the US west coast.

The grim milestone will be marked by a candle-lighting ceremony and moment of silence at the White House. President Joe Biden will also deliver remarks.

More than 28.1 million Americans have been infected – another global record.

The number of Americans who have had the coronavirus is nearly double that of second-highest India (11 million) and Brazil (10.1 million). Brazil has recorded the second-largest death toll at 244,000 while Mexico is in third with 178,000.

“People decades from now are going to be talking about this as a terribly historic milestone in the history of this country, to have these many people to have died from a respiratory-borne infection,” the nation’s top immunologist, Dr Anthony Fauci, told CNN on Sunday.

At least 90,000 more Americans are expected to be killed by 1 June, according to a recent projection from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

The IHME estimates that by late May, the virus will kill around 500 Americans per day – down from approximately 2,000 daily deaths now.