More than a quarter of a million people have died from Covid-19 in the United States, the Johns Hopkins University tally recorded Wednesday, marking a bleak new milestone for the pandemic.
The US, which has now registered 250,029 fatalities, has by far the highest national death toll, ahead of Brazil with 166,699 deaths, India with 130,993 deaths and Mexico with 99,026.
President Donald Trump has consistently downplayed the threat of the virus, seldom wearing a mask and holding large, packed rallies while campaigning for the November 3 election that he lost to Joe Biden.
Social distancing, mask wearing and other measures are followed unevenly in some parts of the US despite a surge in recent cases and deaths.
The country now routinely records over 1,000 deaths and 150,000 new cases every day.
New York City will again close public schools this week and has re-imposed some restrictions on bars and restaurants.
Two trial vaccines have recently performed well in tests, offering hope for the US and world.
The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,343,000 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.
President-elect Biden has appealed to Americans to wear masks and socially distance until a vaccine become widely available.