Nearly 80,000 Americans died from COVID-19 so far this month.
The coronavirus in January has claimed the most American lives of any month since the outbreak of the pandemic and five daily death tolls remain to be counted.
Nearly 80,000 people died from the virus this month as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The toll exceeds December, the previous deadliest month, by more than a thousand.
The U.S. reports over 25 million cases of the virus and more than 425,000 deaths. Both tolls are the highest of any country.
While daily cases and hospitalizations are down, concerns are growing about new coronavirus variants that are more transmissible. Vaccine companies believe their shots will be effective against the mutations, but Moderna this week said it will work on a booster shot for the variant first found in South Africa “out of an abundance of caution.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced plans to purchase 200 million more vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer, raising the total U.S. vaccine order to 600 million.
“This is enough vaccine to fully vaccinate 300 [million] Americans by end of the summer, the beginning of the fall,” Biden said at the White House.
Still, Biden warned that it would take time before those vaccines are administered.
“The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated. Months. In the next few months, masks, not vaccines, are the best defense against COVID-19,” Biden said.