President-elect Joe Biden spiked coronavirus hysteria early this month, warning Americans the nation would suffer 250,000 additional deaths from the novel Wuhan coronavirus by the end of the year.
“Christmas is going to be a lot harder,” Biden said during a small business roundtable on Dec. 2, a week after Thanksgiving. “I don’t want to scare anybody here, but understand the facts — we’re likely to lose another 250,000 people dead between now and January. You hear me?”
At that point, The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project reported nearly 262,000 Americans had succumbed to the virus, making Biden’s prediction a near doubling of the nation’s nine-month death toll within a 30-day period. According to the latest data from the COVID Tracking Project, however, the U.S. death toll stands at nearly 334,000, meaning Biden was off by about 178,000 with 72,000 deaths in December.
The nation now leads into the new year with two FDA-approved vaccines in distribution to front-line health care workers and senior individuals at the highest risk of complications from the novel coronavirus. While vaccines are being distributed, however, the pandemic continues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released figures Thursday showing the United States hit a new record of deaths, with 3,764 deaths on Wednesday.