WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- One out of every 500 U.S. residents has lost their lives to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic last year, statistics show.
COVID has killed more than 664,500 people in the United States as of Wednesday, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University.
That's out of a total U.S. population of 331.4 million cited by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The risk of dying from COVID-19 in the United States has now surpassed that of dying in a pedestrian, motorcycle or bicycle accident; drowning; choking to death on food, or dying in a fire.
"This statistic reflects the fact that for much of the pandemic the formidable toolbox in this country was not used, and many of these deaths were preventable," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "This figure reflects how necessary it is to have political leadership that takes pandemic preparedness seriously while having a robust infrastructure to proactively spring into action, free from political interference."
The United States passed this tragic milestone as COVID-19 transmission spurred by the highly infectious Delta variant remained high in all states save for California, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The nation is reporting a 30% increase in average daily cases during the past month, while average daily deaths have nearly tripled, according to CDC data reported by CNN.
Only 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 63% have had at least one dose, the CDC says.
Unvaccinated people account for more than 9 out of 10 recent COVID deaths, according to CDC data.
Some events that have a lower likelihood than 1 in 500, according to the National Safety Council, include:
Struck and killed while crossing the street (1 in 543).
Death by motorcycle crash (1 in 899).
Drowning (1 in 1,128).
Death by fire (1 in 1,547).
Choking to death on food (1 in 2,535).
Death by bicycle wreck (1 in 3,825).
Succumbing to sunstroke (1 in 8,248).
Killed by an accidental gun discharge (1 in 8,571).
The Johns Hopkins COVID tracking data can be found here.
SOURCES: Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; CNN, Sept. 15, 2021