The number of coronavirus-linked deaths worldwide surpassed the 1 million mark on Monday, nearly 10 months after China reported the world’s first COVID-19 case, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States has recorded the highest number of cases and deaths to date, with more than 7 million cases and at least 205,000 deaths. Brazil has reported the second highest death toll with more than 141,000 deaths, and India has the third highest with at least 95,000 deaths.
The U.S. death toll is on track to blow past targets set by President Donald Trump’s administration. In April, he said models estimated that the virus could kill as many as 220,000 people nationwide, though he predicted the death toll would actually be “substantially” below 100,000.
A University of Washington model that almost exactly pinpointed when the U.S. would cross the 200,000 mark now envisions at least 371,000 deaths by Jan. 1. It also predicts more than 2.5 million deaths worldwide by the same date.
As coronavirus cases continue to climb, several countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom and China, have taken the lead in vaccine development. As of Monday, researchers were conducting clinical trials on humans for at least 40 vaccines.
China and Russia have granted limited approved for a handful of vaccines without awaiting the results of late-stage trials, moves that could pose safety risks, according to public health experts.
In the U.S., several vaccines are undergoing late-stage trials, including one developed by biotech company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, as well as another developed by Johnson & Johnson.
Though Trump has promised a vaccine would be available to most Americans by the end of the year, his own health officials have said hundreds of millions of doses of a potential vaccine likely wouldn’t be available until at least mid-2021.
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