The U.S. has for the first time recorded more than 4,000 deaths in one day from complications of COVID-19.
Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center reported 4,085 coronavirus-related deaths on Jan. 7, bringing the total U.S. death toll since the beginning of the pandemic to 365,882. Both figures continue to far outpace the virus’ toll in other nations.
The number of confirmed infections in the U.S. stands at more than 21.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins, more than the next highest country, India. The figure represents about 6.5% of the U.S. population.
The spike in deaths comes after a busy holiday travel period, which delays reporting. So it’s too early to determine how much of that surge was due to the holidays or a back-up in reporting, though epidemiologists have predicted the holidays could be significant.
The 7-day rolling average has hovered between 2,300 and 2,800 deaths in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins.
In an interview Thursday with NPR’s Morning Edition, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is slated to be President-elect Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said he expects January figures to grow worse.
“As we get into the next couple of weeks in January, that likely will be a reflection of the holiday season travel and the congregate settings that usually take place socially during that period of time,” Fauci said.