The nation has reached a heartbreaking milestone of 1 million confirmed deaths from COVID-19 for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started over two years in the past.

A median of over 300 people are still dying each day from COVID-19 — most of whom are unvaccinated — at the same time as secure and efficient vaccines have been accessible to stop extreme sickness or loss of life from the virus.

“We mark a tragic milestone: a million American lives misplaced to COVID-19,” President Joe Biden mentioned in an announcement on Thursday, ordering flags to be flown at half-staff on the White Home and different federal grounds. “Every an irreplaceable loss. Every forsaking a household, a group, and a nation eternally modified due to this pandemic.”

The president requested Individuals to “stay vigilant towards this pandemic and do every little thing we will to save lots of as many lives as attainable.”

Though hospitalization and loss of life charges from COVID-19 have fallen from their winter peak, new cases have begun to rise again, doubling since April, as extremely contagious omicron subvariants unfold throughout the nation and hospitalizations are ticking again up.

Some 22% — or practically 1 in 4 — people nationwide have still not gotten a single dose of a vaccine towards the coronavirus, in keeping with Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention information. About one-third — or 33% — of the inhabitants has not been totally vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccines or the only dose of Johnson & Johnson’s. And about half of individuals eligible for a booster — which well being specialists say offers the perfect safety towards the most recent variants — haven’t gotten theirs.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky famous in February that unvaccinated people were 14 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those that are vaccinated and boosted.

In the meantime, federal and state-level pointers have dramatically loosened virus-related restrictions in current months, with many states lifting mask mandates for faculties and a court ruling ending a national mask mandate for planes and different journey. (The CDC still recommends masking on planes, trains and buses.)

People with disabilities have warned that the tens of millions of Individuals with continual well being circumstances, together with those that are immunocompromised or have coronary heart or respiratory points, are nonetheless weak to extreme sickness from COVID-19.

All through the pandemic, Black and Latinx folks have confronted disproportionate hospitalization and loss of life from the virus, as these communities are overrepresented amongst front-line employees, in industries like agriculture or within the service sector, the place staff aren’t capable of do business from home because the virus spreads. Black and Latinx people are more than twice as likely as white folks to be hospitalized with the virus, and practically twice as prone to die from it.