'More than three wars': US nears 500,000 coronavirus death in one year
Just over a year since the first known US COVID-19 death, more than 500,000 people will have died from the disease by the end of this week, 9news reports.
"It's something that is historic. It's nothing like we've ever been though in the last 102 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic," said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"It really is a terrible situation that we've been through and that we're still going through. And that's the reason why we keep insisting to continue with the public health measures — because we don't want this to get much worse than it already is."
The New York Times published a confronting front page graphic on Sunday with a dot for every one of the nearly 500,000 deaths already in the US.
"More than in three wars," one of the newspaper's headlines read.
More than 497,600 people have so far died from COVID-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.
And another 91,000 Americans are projected to die from the disease by June 1, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Decreases in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations in recent weeks have prompted some state and local leaders to loosen restrictions.
But as new coronavirus variants spread, health experts say it's critical to double down on safety measures to prevent yet another catastrophic surge.