US Tops 600,000 Covid Deaths, New York And California Drop Curbs

The US death count from coronavirus surpassed 600,000 on Tuesday, although officials hailed progress towards a return to normality as its world-leading covid vaccination program promised to turn the page on one of the worst health crises in history of American.

The United States has racked up, by far, the largest national death count — ahead of India and Brazil — after a heavily criticized early response to the coronavirus pandemic but has since organized among the world’s most effective immunization drives.

Progress against the covid was underlined as New York announced more than 70 percent of adults had received at least one covid vaccine dose and the last of the state’s restrictions could be lifted. “There are still too many lives being lost,” US President Joe Biden said, noting that despite the daily number of dead dropping sharply, the continuing loss of life was still “a real tragedy.” “My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one,” Joe Biden said, speaking on Monday in Brussels as the Johns Hopkins University tally ticked close to 600,000.

Joe Biden has set the 4th of July as the target date for 70 percent of US adults to have received at least one vaccine dose, but several states in the South are lagging far behind and the country might miss that goal. In New York City, where more than 33,000 died due to coronavirus, life took a major step forward as almost all restrictions were lifted.

“We have hit 70 percent covid vaccination mark,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “It is the national goal, and we hit it ahead of schedule. What does 70 percent mean? It means that we can now return to life as we know it.”

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