Washington National Cathedral rings bells to mark 500k lives lost to COVID | USA TODAY 1

Washington National Cathedral rings bells to mark 500k lives lost to COVID | USA TODAY


The Washington National Cathedral will toll its funeral bell to honor the 500,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Over 90,000 more Americans are likely to die from COVID-19-related causes by June 1, a leading forecasting institute says. The projection comes as the U.S. expects to surpass 500,000 deaths within the next two days.

When the pandemic will end remains a mystery. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it's "possible" that Americans will still be wearing masks in 2022. Marty Makary, who teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, doesn't see it that way.

"At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life," Makary says in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the group that forecasts all those additional deaths, also warns that the world may never reach herd immunity.
IHME projects that 589,197 Americans will have died by the end of May. The good news is the institute projects that deaths could drop to fewer than 500 per day by then, and the number could be even lower if Americans are vigilant about wearing masks. The U.S. is currently averaging about 2,000 deaths per day.

"While it's possible to reach herd immunity by next winter, it seems increasingly unlikely we will do so, and in light of that we all need to shift our expectations," IHME says.

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