|February 23, 2021|
More than half a million people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19. Hope is in sight, but devastation remains.
‘Not Just Another Number’
COVID-19 deaths in the United States have officially surpassed 500,000 — a toll that is hard to fathom. It’s as if all the people in a city the size of Atlanta or Sacramento simply vanished. The number is greater than the combined U.S. battlefield deaths in both world wars and Vietnam.
“You see that number, and it’s not just another number,” said Bettina Gonzales, 39, whose 61-year-old father, David Gonzales, a football and basketball coach in Harlingen, Texas, died in August. “It’s a lot of tragedy that goes behind that number.”
Recorded COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. account for about one-fifth of the world’s nearly 2.5 million known fatalities from the disease, twice as many as in Brazil, the next hardest-hit country. California alone accounts for almost 50,000 deaths, about 10% of the country’s total. Nearly 20,000 of those were in Los Angeles County, where about 1 in every 500 people has died.
On Monday evening, President Biden urged the nation to honor the dead by observing public health measures to help bring an end to the pandemic.
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