Advertisement

Global COVID-19 deaths top 2 million

Masked pedestrians pass a sign about COVID-19 vaccinations at the nearby Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The convention center, which was used as a field hospital last spring in the early weeks of the pandemic, is now a large vaccine distribution center. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Masked pedestrians pass a sign about COVID-19 vaccinations at the nearby Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The convention center, which was used as a field hospital last spring in the early weeks of the pandemic, is now a large vaccine distribution center. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Global deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2 million Friday as the United States continues to face a surge in new cases and deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The official death count includes only confirmed deaths, and experts say the actual toll could be much higher.

Advertisement

New cases and deaths in the United States on Thursday were almost identical to the high figures that were recorded a day earlier. There were 235,300 new cases nationwide on Thursday, according to scientists tracking the pandemic at the research university -- an increase of about 5,000 cases over Wednesday.

There were also an additional 3,900 coronavirus deaths in the United States on Thursday, the data show -- almost the same number reported the previous day.

RELATED Biden plan for COVID-19 vaccine doses won't cause shortages, official says

In the past three days alone, there have been 12,500 COVID-19 deaths nationwide. Since the start of 2021, more than 50,000 patients have died in the United States.

Since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago, there have been 23.4 million coronavirus cases and about 390,650 related deaths.

President-elect Joe Biden was expected to expand on his plan Friday to better distribute the vaccines.

Advertisement
RELATED Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict receive COVID-19 vaccine

The national effort under the Trump administration, Operation Warp Speed, has been criticized as unorganized and too slow. Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in December the administration's goal was to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of 2020. Only about half of that figure has been achieved two weeks into 2021.

To date, the government has distributed more than 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and healthcare providers have given the initial shot to 11.2 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden said Thursday night that his administration plans to accomplish 100 million inoculations by the 100th day of his presidency, which is the end of April.

RELATED U.S. military base in Seoul reports multiple COVID-19 cases

Xavier Becerra, Biden's nominee to take over for Azar, told MSNBC Friday that a critical part of the plan is to coordinate among federal, state and local officials.

"They have to be the ones that do it on the ground, and so we have to coordinate," he said. "It's a matter of working together.

"I think what we'll do is, we'll find that the locals will step up. They're asking, we want to deliver."

Advertisement

NBC News reported Thursday that Biden's team has only recently been allowed by the Trump administration to start receiving key vaccine data, and still hadn't been given access to the Defense Department's vaccination plans.

In other COVID-19 news:

Latest Headlines