The novel coronavirus has claimed more than 250,000 American lives as of Wednesday evening, according to the latest estimates from Johns Hopkins University.
With 250,029 fatalities, the U.S. has now recorded more virus deaths than any country in the world, followed by Brazil, India and Mexico, the data shows.
The grim milestone comes as COVID-19 cases are surging across the country, with more than 11,359,803 illnesses reported to date. Texas and California lead the nation with the most cases, with the latter state imposing new restrictions in an effort to curb virus spread.
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The hopes of putting a stop to the coronavirus pandemic lay with two promising coronavirus vaccine candidates, developed by Moderna and Pfizer, respectively. Both have proven highly efficacious in late-stage clinical trials, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, calling the results “truly striking.”
But as Moderna and Pfizer continue to gather the required two months’ worth of safety data needed for emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), surging infections due to public non-compliance continue to overwhelm hospitals and strain staff across the nation.
“Now we’re seeing more cases because there is not enough public health compliance,” Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “And that’s a big problem for me when the hospitals start to get full.”
Last week, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. reached a record high, with some states seeing hospitals reach capacity limits. In rural areas and small hospitals, in particular, medical administrators are scrambling to find enough nursing help.
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Until a safe and effective vaccine is approved, health officials continue to urge face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding crowds where possible.
Fox News’ Kayla Rivas and Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.
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