JobSeeker payment to increase, US COVID deaths surpass 500,000, second Pfizer COVID vaccine shipment arrives
The US toll is by far the highest reported in the world, and the true numbers are thought to be significantly greater, in part because of the many cases that were overlooked, especially early in the outbreak.
Average daily deaths and cases have plummeted in the past few weeks, but experts warn that dangerous variants could cause the trend to reverse itself.
Some experts say not enough Americans have been inoculated yet for the vaccine to be making much of a difference.
Instead, the drop-off in deaths and cases has been attributed to the passing of the holidays; the cold and bleak days of midwinter, when many people are inclined to stay home; and better adherence to mask rules and social distancing.
The US recorded an estimated 405,000 deaths in World War II, 58,000 in the Vietnam War and 36,000 in the Korean War.