Daily Covid deaths fall 1,235 lowest levels since before holidays hospital numbers drop to 55,403

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, referred to the U.S. coronavirus death toll, which surpassed 500,000 lives lost on Monday, as ‘stunning.’ 

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the country was ridden with political divisions, so much so that wearing a mask became a political statement rather than a public health measure.   

‘Even under the best of circumstances, this would have been a very serious problem,’ he told Reuters, noting that despite strong adherence to public health measures, countries such as Germany and the UK struggled with the virus. 

‘However, that does not explain how a rich and sophisticated country can have the most percentage of deaths and be the hardest-hit country in the world, that I believe should not have happened.’ 

While the U.S. has just about four percent of the global population, it has recorded nearly 20 percent of all COVID-19 deaths. 

‘This is the worst thing that’s happened to this country with regard to the health of the nation in over 100 years,’ Fauci said, adding that decades from now, people will be talking about ‘that horrible year of 2020, and maybe 2021.’ 

He noted, however, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could soon start relaxing restrictions for fully vaccinated people as the number of cases, hospitalization and deaths continue to decline to their lowest levels since before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. 

On Monday, the U.S. reported 56,044 new infections, a decline of 20 percent in just a week. This is also the lowest figure seen since October 13, when 52,406 cases were recorded, according to a DailyMail.con analysis.

There were 1,413 daily deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. This makes the seven-day rolling average 1,876 new fatalities a day, a figure not seen since December 2, the analysis shows.

On Monday, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to 55,403 marking 41 straight days of falling numbers and 58 percent lower than the peak of 132,474 hospitalizations recorded on January 6. 

The promising news brought by the declining figures was also coupled with a restarting of the vaccination program which came to a virtual halt due to bad weather across much of the country last week. 

The U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 500,000 on Monday, which Dr Anthony Fauci called ‘stunning’ and said ‘should not have happened. Pictured: Fauci addresses the daily press briefing at the White House, January 21

Officials recorded 1,413 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours with a seven-day rolling average of 1,876 new fatalities a day, a figure not seen since December 2

On Monday, 56,044 new coronavirus infections, a decline of 20% in just a week and the lowest figure seen since October 13

Currently, 55,403 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19, which marks 41 straight days of falling numbers for hospitalizations

Fauci he said he believes the CDC will ‘soon’ be issuing guidance for fully vaccinated people, relaxing restrictions such as visiting family members

For most of 2020, Fauci served on then President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, a job that often put him at odds with the president, who sought to downplay the severity of pandemic despite contracting COVID-19 himself, and refused to issue a national mask mandate. 

At times, Trump even attacked Fauci’s credibility, undermining his public health messaging.

The nation’s failure cannot all be laid at the feet of Donald Trump, Fauci said. 

‘But the lack of involvement at the very top of the leadership in trying to do everything that was science-based was clearly detrimental to the effort,’ he said.   

Fauci said his personal low point came when several states and cities disregarded the Task Force’s phased recommendations for how to safely reopen the country after spring lockdowns.

He called that indifference by several governors and mayors ‘incomprehensible to me [when] you could see right in front of your eyes what was happening.’

‘When the American spirit is so divided, that really, really made me sad,’ he said. 

However, Fauci told CNN on Tuesday that the CDC will be ‘soon’ issuing guidance for fully vaccinated people but that the agency wants ‘to make sure they sit down, talk about it, look at the data and then come out with a recommendation based on the science.’ 

So far, the only recommendations issued by the CDC is that a fully vaccinated person does not have to quarantine – 10 days without a test or seven days with a test – if they come into contact with an infected person.

But he believes more recommendations are on the horizon.

‘I believe you’re going to be hearing more of the recommendations of how you can relax the stringency of some of the things, particularly when you’re dealing with something like your own personal family when people have been vaccinated,’ Fauci told CNN. 

‘I agree, they’re questions that we need to answer pretty soon because more and more people are going to be vaccinated, every single day there’ll be more and more people and they’re going to be asking that question.’ 

Fauci and President Joe Biden have said the United States should return to something approaching pre-pandemic normal life around Christmas. That could change, he cautioned.  

At sunset, Biden made remarks and held a national moment of silence as he confronted the country’s loss. 

First and second couples: Joe and Jill Biden and Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff stood in memory of the dead during the moment’s silence

Candles of memory: The White House placed 500 candles on the South Portico, one for each of the thousand people who have died

Lit in memory: The South Portico was illuminated by candles for the ceremony of remembrance, and federal flags were lowered to half staff for five days of mourning

Biden attempted to strike a balance between mourning and hope.

Addressing the ‘grim, heartbreaking milestone’ directly and publicly, Biden stepped to a lectern in the White House Cross Hall, unhooked his face mask and delivered an emotion-filled eulogy for more than 500,000 Americans he said he felt he knew.

‘Today we mark a truly grim heartbreaking milestone,’ he said in a speech to the nation before praying in silent on the South Portico of the White House where 500 candles were lit to symbolize the 500,000 dead. 

‘We often hear people described as ordinary Americans. There’s no such thing,’ he said Monday evening. ‘There’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary.’

‘You’re going to be okay,’ he said, speaking directly to those who have lost someone to COVID.

He reminded Americans that the virus can affect anyone. ‘It’s not Democrats and Republicans who are dying from the virus,’ he said.

‘It’s our fellow Americans. It’s our neighbors, our friends, our mothers our fathers our sons our daughters, husbands, wives, we have to fight this together as one people as the United States of America,’ he said.

He addressed the heartbreak that so many families felt at not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones, noting the cruelty that comes with death in a pandemic.

‘Just like that,’ he added, ‘so many of them took their last breath alone. As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel thing.’ 

The White House lowered its flag to half staff at 5pm on Monday as the United States topped 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic

Flags will be lowered on federal property for five days

After the president spoke, he, Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff stepped outside to the South Portico of the White House for a remembrance ceremony. Surrounded by candles as the sun set, the four bowed their heads as the Marine Band played ‘Amazing Grace.’  

The country has the highest overall death figure, reflecting the lack of a unified, national response.  

The first known deaths from the virus in the US happened in early February 2020. It took four months to reach the first 100,000 dead. The toll hit 200,000 deaths in September and 300,000 in December.

Then it took just over a month to go from 300,000 to 400,000 and about two months to climb from 400,000 to the brink of 500,000. 

The figure of 500,000 matches the number of Americans killed in the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.

The lives lost, as recorded by Johns Hopkins University, are about equal to the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and greater than that of Miami; Raleigh, North Carolina; or Omaha, Nebraska.

Average daily deaths and cases have plummeted in the past few weeks, but experts warn that dangerous variants could cause the trend to reverse itself.

Fauci said the emergence of more contagious variants of the coronavirus, especially ones from South Africa and Brazil that have been shown to reduce the immunity from natural infections and vaccines, have made it challenging to predict when the nation will be able to put the pandemic behind it. 

The variants also change the equation when it comes to herd immunity, in which a population becomes protected from infection because of high levels of immunity from vaccines or infections.

Asked whether that is still achievable, Fauci said, ‘I think we can get herd immunity at least against getting sick.’

Currently, about 44.1 million Americans – 13.3 percent of the population – in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 19.4 million people – 5.9 percent – have received both doses.  

An average of 1.3 million people ar being vaccinated every day and it is believed Biden will reach his goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office. 


By James Gordon for DailyMail.com

Meghan McCain has called for President Joe Biden to replace Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, with someone who ‘does understand science’.

McCain called for a change in leadership because of what she claimed was his ‘inconsistent messaging’ over coronavirus vaccine.

Her frustration lies with an earlier interview given by Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who appeared on CNN to discuss the current vaccination rollout.

‘There will be recommendations coming out. I don’t want to be making a recommendation now on public TV,’ Fauci said.

Meghan McCain complained about not getting a COVID-19 vaccine yet and then called on President Biden to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr Fauci would not be drawn on whether grandparents could visit and hug their unvaccinated grandchildren. ‘There will be recommendations coming out. I don’t want to be making a recommendation now on public TV,’ Fauci said

‘I was very frustrated when I saw this clip,’ McCain said on ABC’s The View.

‘The fact that Dr. Fauci is going on CNN and he can’t tell me if I get the vaccine, I’ll be able to have dinner with my family. It’s terribly inconsistent messaging and it continues to be inconsistent messaging.

‘The idea that I can get vaccinated and I won’t be able to see friends and nothing in life changes, and we’re going to have to wear masks forever, I don’t understand the downplaying of getting the vaccine because right now we should be wanting as many Americans as possible to get a vaccine.’

McCain added: ‘I want to get it, if you call me at 3 o’clock in the morning, I will go anyplace at any time to get it, I wanna be responsible and obviously wait my turn but this rollout has been a disaster.’

The 36-year-old went on to praise how the vaccine had been rolled out in Israel where half of the country’s population has been vaccinated, however she continued to lambast the distribution plan in the U.S.

McCain said that she ‘would like something to look forward to’ and dismissed the notion that vaccinated Americans can’t resume a somewhat normal life.

‘I’m over Dr Fauci. I think we need to have more people giving more opinions and I honestly, quite frankly, I think the Biden administration should remove him and put someone else in place that maybe does understand science or can talk to other countries about how we can be more like these places that are doing this successfully,’ she said .