As the U.S. national death toll from COVID-19 passes 610,000, it has fortunately begun to decelerate as more than half the population is vaccinated. California just became the nation’s deadliest state with a death toll of 63,000, passing New York at 53,000, leaving Texas third with 52,000 fatalities.
This chart was last prepared on January 30 when there were 440,000 fatalities, an increase of 170,000 or 39 percent. So even with the start of an aggressive vaccination program, COVID-19 was a killer.
Because the pandemic became a part of the 2020 election environment, every aspect – from masks, to shutting down, to the vaccination, now to passports – became part of polarized politics, leading a significant population resistant to pandemic appeals and mandates. Even today with the demonstrated success of the vaccination program polls regularly report about a quarter of the U.S. adult population refuse to get vaccinate (37% of self-identified Republicans).