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U.S. Coronavirus death Toll Approaches Milestone of 500,000

Sign thanking health care workers
Emily Quirk / NHPR
COVID-19 in N.H.: A sign in Amherst, N.H.

The U.S. stands at the brink of 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus. A year into the pandemic, America's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, calls the looming milestone horrible and historic.

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The running total of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, was about 498,000 on Sunday. That's roughly the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and just shy of the size of Atlanta.

The first known deaths from the virus in the U.S. were in early February 2020 in California.

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The death toll reached 400,000 on Jan. 19 in the waning hours in office for President Donald Trump.

— John Raby, Associated Press

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