Washington: More than 500,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University on Monday, by far the highest reported toll of any country.
The catastrophic U.S figure comes as some signs of hope are emerging in the world's hardest-hit country, with millions of people now vaccinated and winter's massive spike in infections dropping.
Still, the grim threshold was reached only about a month after the U.S recorded 400,000 fatalities from the disease in mid-January, with cases now on the decline but deaths continuing to mount.
The count, 500,071, is more than double the number in absolute terms of reported deaths in Brazil, which has the world's second highest toll.
After the first Covid-19 death was announced in the U.S in February 2020 it took about three months to pass the 100,000 mark, during a first wave that hit New York particularly hard.
It took another four months to reach 200,000 fatalities, and just under three more months to reach 300,000.