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Israel Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate

JERUSALEM — Buoyed by its recent success in combating the coronavirus, Israel lifted its outdoor mask mandate on Sunday, while schools fully reopened for the first time since September.

The country has been taking rapid steps back to normalcy in the wake of its world-leading vaccination campaign and plummeting infection rates. About 56 percent of the Israeli population has been fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database.

“Finally, I can breathe again!” Eli Bliach, 35, an entrepreneur, said while walking mask-free in downtown Jerusalem on Sunday morning.

With the sun out and temperatures rising, some people joked about avoiding mask tan lines.

But other Israelis were hesitant to remove the layer of protection that had felt so alien at first, but that many have since gotten used to.

allergies and the spread of other viruses.

Israel’s health minister, Yuli Edelstein, urged people to continue carrying masks with them for entry into indoor public spaces, where they are still required.

Daily new coronavirus infections in Israel have fallen from a peak of 10,000 in January to around 100 on some recent days. Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science said on Twitter last week that with 85 percent of people 16 and older in Israel either vaccinated or recovered from the virus, “Life is close to pre-Covid.”

As part of the transition, Israel has introduced a “green pass” system allowing people who are vaccinated or recovered to dine indoors in restaurants, stay in hotels and attend large cultural, sports and religious gatherings.

told the Hebrew news site Ynet on Sunday that the variant might have some characteristics that could make those who have been vaccinated vulnerable to infection.

Israel is working to prevent any further entry of the variant, he said, while trying to learn more about it and how it is behaving in other parts of the world.

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Alaska to Offer Covid Vaccines at Airports

To some, Alaska’s announcement that it would try to entice travelers by offering Covid-19 vaccinations at its airports might signal the state’s plucky resolve and determination to revive a tourism industry that has been devastated by the pandemic.

To others, it’s a sign of everything that is wrong with the way that the United States is distributing its vaccines, as calls for more doses in surge-stricken Michigan are rebuffed.

“It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve so maldistributed a vaccine as to make this necessary,” said Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who was part of the effort to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. “You don’t want to exchange a bad carbon footprint for a vaccination.”

Starting on June 1, any tourist traveling to Alaska will be able to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at the Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau or Ketchikan airports. It’s part of a larger multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, funded by federal stimulus money, to attract tourists back to the state, Gov. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, a Republican, announced.

news conference on Friday.

Alaska is the latest state to announce plans to extend vaccine eligibility to nonresidents as production and distribution have increased around the country. Twenty-one other states do not have residency requirements for vaccination, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Some U.S. experts have worried for months about the growth in “vaccine tourism” — Americans crossing state lines to get a vaccine where there are excess doses. Virologists like Dr. Brilliant say that rather than incentivizing people to fly to Alaska to get a shot from the state’s abundant vaccine supply, doses should be redistributed to states most in need and no longer be allocated strictly by population.

Alaska is not lacking vaccines, said Heidi Hedberg, the state’s director of public health. Health administrators will begin the airport vaccine program for tourists at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, with a five-day trial at the end of April to gauge interest. Some visitors may have to get their second dose of mRNA vaccines in their home states, depending on how long they remain in Alaska.

Almost 40 percent of Alaskans have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to a New York Times database. Thirty-two percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The state has used 68 percent of its doses.

first state to open up vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 or older living or working in the state, on March 9. At the time of the announcement, Alaska had the highest vaccination rate in the country.

The United States has continued to speed up vaccination efforts, and is now averaging 3.2 million doses a day, up from roughly two million a day in early March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday that about 129.5 million people had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr. Brilliant said states like Michigan, the center of the country’s worst surge, should be receiving larger allocations of doses.

The Biden administration and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, a Democrat, have been at odds over her calls for an increase in her state’s vaccine supply. But the Biden administration held fast to distributing vaccines by state population, not by triage.

“The vaccine should go where it will do the most good,” Dr. Brilliant said. “Given the scarcity of vaccine in the world, every dose should be given in a way that is most effective at stopping this pandemic.”

But the issue could be moot by the time that Alaska’s tourist vaccination program begins in earnest on June 1: most Americans who want to be vaccinated might already have received at least one dose by then, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

“We’re going to reach a point where people don’t need to fly to Alaska to get vaccinated,” he said. “I think it’s going to be more of the case that, here’s an opportunity to visit Alaska and it’s convenient to get vaccinated.”

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One America News Network Stays True to Trump

Months after the inauguration of President Biden, One America News Network, a right-wing cable news channel available in some 35 million households, has continued to broadcast segments questioning the validity of the 2020 presidential election.

“There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president,” the OAN correspondent Pearson Sharp said in a March 28 report.

That segment was one in a spate of similar reports from a channel that has become a kind of Trump TV for the post-Trump age, an outlet whose reporting has aligned with the former president’s grievances at a time when he is barred from major social media platforms.

Some of OAN’s coverage has not had the full support of the staff. In interviews with 18 current and former OAN newsroom employees, 16 said the channel had broadcast reports that they considered misleading, inaccurate or untrue.

The channel did not broadcast live coverage of Mr. Biden’s swearing-in ceremony and Inaugural Address. Into April, news articles on the OAN website consistently referred to Donald J. Trump as “President Trump” and to President Biden as just “Joe Biden” or “Biden.” That practice is not followed by other news organizations, including the OAN competitor Newsmax, a conservative cable channel and news site.

OAN has also promoted the debunked theory that the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 were left-wing agitators. Toward the end of a March 4 news segment that described the attack as the work of “antifa” and “anti-Trump extremists” — and referred to the president as “Beijing Biden” — Mr. Sharp said, “History will show it was the Democrats, and not the Republicans, who called for this violence.” Investigations have found no evidence that people who identify with antifa, a loose collective of antifascist activists, were involved in the Capitol riot.

Charles Herring, the president of Herring Networks, the company that owns OAN, defended the reports casting doubt on the election. “Based on our investigations, voter irregularities clearly took place in the November 2020 election,” he said. “The real question is to what extent.”

Herring Networks was founded by Mr. Herring’s father, the tech entrepreneur Robert Herring, who at age 79 runs OAN with Charles and another son, Robert Jr. About 150 employees work for the channel at its headquarters in San Diego.

Pew Research reported that 7 percent of Americans, including 14 percent of Republicans, had gotten political news from OAN. By contrast, 43 percent of Americans and 62 percent of Republicans had gotten political news from Fox News, the survey found.

a Reuters/Ipsos poll last month, about half of Republicans said they believed that the Jan. 6 attack, which left five dead, was largely a nonviolent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists. Six in 10 of Republicans surveyed said they also believed Mr. Trump’s claim that the election was “stolen.”

OAN, which started in 2013, gained attention when it broadcast Mr. Trump’s campaign speeches in full before the 2016 election. In recent months, it has courted viewers who may have felt abandoned by Fox News, which on election night was the first news outlet to project Mr. Biden as the winner of Arizona, a key swing state. In a mid-November promotional ad, OAN accused Fox News of joining “the mainstream media in censoring factual reporting.”

OAN’s stories “appeal to people who want to believe that the election was not legitimate,” said Stephanie L. Edgerly, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. “These are two mutually reinforcing narratives of people who want to believe it and continue to get that fire stoked by OAN.”

report in May on the pandemic, Mr. Rouz said Covid-19 might have started as a “globalist conspiracy to establish sweeping population control,” one that had ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, the billionaires George Soros and Bill Gates, and “the deep state.”

Ms. Britton, the former OAN producer, recalled checking a website that Mr. Rouz had cited to back some of his reporting. “It literally took me to this chat room where it’s just conservatives commenting toward each other,” she said.

In an email to staff last month, Ms. Oakley, the news director, warned producers against ignoring or playing down Mr. Rouz’s work. “His stories should be considered ‘H stories’ and treated as such,” she wrote in the email, which The Times reviewed. “These stories are often slugged and copy-edited by ME as per Mr. H’s instructions.”

OAN’s online audience is significant, with nearly 1.5 million subscribers to its YouTube channel. One of its most popular videos, with about 1.5 million views since it went online Nov. 24, criticized Dominion Voting Systems, the election technology company whose equipment was used in more than two dozen states last year, including several won by Mr. Trump. Hosted by the OAN White House correspondent, Chanel Rion, the video shows a man who said he had infiltrated Dominion and heard company executives say they would “make sure” Mr. Trump lost.

Dominion has sued Fox News and two of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell, accusing them of making or promoting defamatory claims. A lawyer for Dominion, who did not reply to requests for comment, has said the company is considering further legal action.

Mr. Golingan, the producer, said some OAN employees had hoped Dominion would sue the channel. “A lot of people said, ‘This is insane, and maybe if they sue us, we’ll stop putting stories like this out,’” he said.

Weeks after Dominion filed its first defamation suits, OAN broadcast a two-hour video in which the chief executive of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, made his case that widespread voter fraud had occurred. YouTube removed the video the day it was posted, saying it violated the platform’s election integrity policy. Last month, an OAN report described Dominion’s “voting machines” as “notorious.”

Two of the current and former employees interviewed for this article — Dan Ball, a talk-show host, and Neil W. McCabe, a former reporter — described OAN’s coverage as unbiased. Mr. McCabe, who now writes for The Tennessee Star, said the network gave a “voice to people that are just not covered.”

Susan Beachy contributed research.

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After ‘Green Rush,’ Canada’s Legal Pot Suppliers Are Stumbling

EXETER, Ontario — The mayor of the largely rural community of South Huron, Ontario, was looking forward to an employment boom when a marijuana producer used its soaring stock value to buy an enormous greenhouse on the edge of the municipality’s largest town.

The purchase three years ago, in Exeter, promised to make his sprawling community a major hub for what seemed like Canada’s next big growth industry: legal pot and the high-paying jobs it would bring.

But before any of the 200 or so anticipated jobs in the greenhouse were filled — or before a single marijuana seed was even sown there — it became apparent that Canada was already growing far more marijuana than the market wanted.

After sitting idle for two years, the one-million-square-foot greenhouse was sold last year for about one-third of its original purchase price of 26 million Canadian dollars, or $20.75 million.

Like plastics in the film “The Graduate,” marijuana seemed destined to become Canada’s next big thing.

The investment craze produced a strong echo of the dot-com stock boom of the late 1990s. And it ended with the same collapse.

Even with a slight recovery propelled by the spreading legalization in the United States — New York legalized marijuana last month, and voters in four states backed legalization in November — one marijuana stock index is still down about 70 percent from its peak in 2018.

Two and a half years after legalization, most marijuana producers in Canada are still reporting staggering losses.

And a major new competitor is looming: Mexico’s lawmakers legalized recreational pot use last month. So the business climate for Canada’s growers could become even more challenging.

“There’s probably going to be a series of shakeouts,” said Kyle B. Murray, the vice dean at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton. “Things were way overblown. It’s very similar to the dot-com boom and then bust.”

previously the heart of Canada’s illegal marijuana industry. There, sales in legal stores grew 24 percent from June to October 2020.

lost nearly 5 million Canadian dollars during its first fiscal year, it has since become profitable.

Largely disappointed at home, some of the larger growers in Canada have pointed to foreign markets, particularly for medical marijuana, as their next great hope. But many analysts are skeptical.

Mexico’s recent move toward creating the world’s largest legal market could doom most marijuana growing in Canada, said Brent McKnight, a professor at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Trade agreements will likely make it impossible for Canada to stop imports from Mexico while Mexico’s significantly lower labor costs and warmer climate potentially give it a competitive advantage.

“That would certainly put some downward pricing pressure on local growers,” he said.

And as Canada’s industry is forced to consolidate to survive, some worry about who will lose out as large, publicly traded companies come to dominate the space.

Long before legalization, many of the first shops to defy Canadian marijuana laws were nonprofit “compassion clubs” selling to people who used cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The current system’s emphasis on large corporate growers and profits has squeezed many people from minority communities out of the business, said Dr. Daniel Werb, an epidemiologist and drug policy analyst at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Werb is part of a research group whose preliminary findings have shown that “there is a marked lack of diversity” in the leadership of the new, legal suppliers, he said.

Sellers in Indigenous communities, too, have been left in limbo, generally not subjected to police raids but also outside the legal system, although Ontario has began licensing shops in some of those communities.

“I get more and more concerned about, on the one hand, the lack of ethno-racial diversity and, on the other hand, a lack of imagination around the fact that this didn’t have to be a wholly for-profit industry,” Dr. Werb said. “It seems like there was a missed opportunity to think creatively.”

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How the Tiny Kingdom of Bhutan Out-Vaccinated Most of the World

THIMPHU, Bhutan — The Lunana area of Bhutan is remote even by the standards of an isolated Himalayan kingdom: It covers an area about twice the size of New York City, borders far western China, includes glacial lakes and some of the world’s highest peaks, and is inaccessible by car.

Still, most people living there have already received a coronavirus vaccine.

Vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine arrived last month by helicopter and were distributed by health workers, who walked from village to village through snow and ice. Vaccinations proceeded in the area’s 13 settlements even after yaks damaged some of the field tents that volunteers had set up for patients.

“I got vaccinated first to prove to my fellow villagers that the vaccine does not cause death and is safe to take,” Pema, a village leader in Lunana who is in his 50s and goes by one name, said by telephone. “After that, everyone here took the jab.”

emphasized its citizens’ well-being over national prosperity, had administered a first vaccine dose to more than 478,000 people, over 60 percent of its population. The Health Ministry said this month that more than 93 percent of eligible adults had received their first shots.

according to a New York Times database.

That rate was ahead of those of the United Kingdom and the United States, more than seven times that of neighboring India and nearly six times the global average. Bhutan is also ahead of several other geographically isolated countries with small populations, including Iceland and the Maldives.

Dasho Dechen Wangmo, Bhutan’s health minister, attributed its success to “leadership and guidance” from the country’s king, public solidarity, a general absence of vaccine hesitancy, and a primary health care system that “enabled us to take the services even to the most remote parts of the country.”

“Being a small country with a population of just over 750,000, a two-week vaccination campaign was doable,” Ms. Dechen Wangmo said in an email. “Minor logistic issues were faced during the vaccination but were all manageable.”

Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer. Bhutan’s government has said it plans to administer second doses about eight to 12 weeks after the first round, in line with guidelines for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

according to the World Health Organization. Immunization levels in recent years have been above 95 percent.

But Bhutan’s health system is “hardly self-sustainable,” and patients who need expensive or sophisticated treatments are often sent to India or Thailand at the government’s expense, said Dr. Yot Teerawattananon, a Thai health economist at the National University of Singapore.

A government committee in Bhutan meets once a week to make decisions about which patients to send overseas for treatment, Dr. Yot said. He said the committee — which focuses on brain and heart surgery, kidney transplants and cancer treatment — was known informally as the “death panel.”

“I don’t think they could cope with the surge of severe Covid cases if that happened, so it is important for them to prioritize Covid vaccination,” he said, referring to Bhutan’s health authorities.

Bhutan has reported fewer than 1,000 coronavirus infections and only one death. Its borders, tight by global standards even before the pandemic, have been closed for a year with few exceptions, and anyone who enters the country must quarantine for 21 days.

received his first vaccine dose last month while in quarantine after a visit to Bangladesh. He has been supporting the vaccination effort in recent weeks on his official Facebook page.

“My days are dotted with virtual meetings on numerous areas that need attention, as I closely follow the vaccination campaign on the ground,” Dr. Tshering, a surgeon, wrote in early April. “So far, with your prayers and blessings, everything is going well.”

The economy in Lunana depends on animal husbandry and harvests of a so-called caterpillar fungus that is prized as an aphrodisiac in China. People speak Dzongkha, the national language, and a local dialect.

Last year, the drama “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” became the second film ever selected to represent Bhutan at the Academy Awards. It was filmed using solar batteries, and its cast included local villagers.

Lunana’s headman, Kaka, who goes by one name, said the most important part of the vaccination campaign was not on the ground, but in the sky.

“If there hadn’t been a chopper,” he said, “getting the vaccines would have been an issue, since there’s no access road.”

Chencho Dema reported from Thimphu, Bhutan, and Mike Ives from Hong Kong.

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Zimbabwe Releases Prisoners to Help Curb Coronavirus Spread

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe released at least 320 prisoners from its jails on Saturday to ease congestion in the country’s notoriously overcrowded jails as a second wave of the coronavirus devastates the country.

The move comes amid growing allegations that a government crackdown has sent dozens of activists, journalists and opposition leaders to prisons.

The prisoners were released under an amnesty program established by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018, the year after he seized power, ending decades of the strongarm rule of Robert G. Mugabe. The amnesty does not include prisoners convicted of crimes that include murder, human trafficking, sexual offenses and treason.

Most of those released on Saturday had been convicted of nonviolent crimes, according to Zimbabwe’s Prison and Correctional Service, but were being held in the infamous Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. That is the country’s largest correctional facility, and it is known for overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.

released 4,208 prisoners under the amnesty order.

The decision to release the latest round of prisoners comes after the variant first identified in South Africa, B.1.351, flooded into Zimbabwe at the start of the year, straining a system that already lacked enough drugs, equipment and medical staff. To date, Zimbabwe has recorded nearly 38,000 coronavirus infections, including 1,551 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In February, the country launched a national vaccine campaign with 200,000 doses donated by the Chinese vaccine maker, Sinopharm. The country is set to receive an additional 1.1 million doses as part of Covax, a global sharing program which is distributing vaccines to poor and middle income countries.

Zimbabwean officials have portrayed the vaccine rollout as a major win in the government-led response to the pandemic. But in recent months, human rights organizations have accused leaders of using coronavirus restrictions as a pretext to arrest opposition leaders in a crackdown on dissent.

A U.S. State Department human rights report released last month accused Zimbabwe’s security forces of engaging in serious human rights violations last year — including arbitrary killing and torturing civilians. The report also noted harsh and life-threatening conditions for political prisoners and detainees inside the country’s prisons.

On Saturday, human rights investigators commended the latest release of some prisoners and called on the Zimbabwean government to expand upon the initiative immediately.

“The Zimbabwe authorities should also release those in pretrial detention for nonviolent and lesser offenses, many of whom are political activists whose continued detention is unnecessary and unjustified,” said Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director of Human Rights Watch.

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As Variant Spreads, Covid-19 Cases Rise Sharply in Pennsylvania

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging in Pennsylvania, as state officials warn of trends seen across the country: increased travel levels, relaxing restrictions and the spread of more contagious virus variants.

Pennsylvania is reporting an average of 4,922 cases a day, up from roughly 2,515 a month ago, according to a New York Times database. Hospitalizations have also climbed about 16 percent in the past two weeks, and the state now has one of the highest per capita daily case counts in the country. Deaths, which tend to lag behind infections by weeks, have started to slightly increase again after plunging from the state’s high of an average of 222 in mid-January. Deaths now average about 37 a day.

State and national health officials are also worried about the spread of more contagious virus variants, particularly the B.1.1.7 variant first found in Britain. That variant is currently estimated to be about 60 percent more contagious and 67 percent more deadly than the original version.

B.1.1.7 is now the most common source of new coronavirus infections in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 28 percent of Pennsylvania’s cases involve that variant, and it is spreading in a vast majority of two dozen other states with high caseloads. In Michigan, more than 57 percent of cases involve B.1.1.7; in Tennessee, the figure is over 60 percent.

opened up eligibility to all adults on Tuesday.

according to data from the C.D.C. Nationally, 38 percent of the population has received at least one shot, and 24 percent have been fully vaccinated.

But many health officials have warned about the lingering challenge of persuading all eligible people to get vaccinated. For instance, in one Pennsylvania county, a hospital set up a drive-through in a park stocked with roughly 1,000 vaccine doses. Only about 300 people showed up. In Iowa, a rural clinic called people who had volunteered to give shots to tell them not to come in because so few residents had signed up for appointments.

The New York Times examined survey and vaccine administration data for nearly every U.S. county and found that both willingness to receive a vaccine and actual vaccination rates to date were lower, on average, in counties where a majority of residents voted to re-elect President Donald J. Trump in 2020. The phenomenon has left some places with a shortage of supply and others with a glut.

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Coronavirus Deaths Reach 3 Million Worldwide

Three million lives: That is roughly equivalent to losing the population of Berlin, Chicago or Taipei. The scale is so staggering that it sometimes begins to feel real only in places like graveyards.

More than 100,000 people have died of Covid-19 in France. The death rate is inching up in Michigan. Morgues in some Indian cities are overflowing with corpses.

The world’s Covid-19 death toll surpassed three million on Saturday, according to a New York Times database. And as the United States and other rich nations race to vaccinate their populations, new hot spots have emerged in parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The global pace of deaths is accelerating, too. After the coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the pandemic claimed a million lives in nine months. It took another four months to kill its second million, and just three months to kill a million more.

according to a New York Times tracker.

At the same time, new outbreaks are still cropping up persistently in rich countries. That has shocked millions of people — from Madrid to Los Angeles — who once expected regular life to resume in tandem with vaccine rollouts.

France, which on Thursday became the third country in Western Europe to pass 100,000 deaths, is in the throes of a third national lockdown.

France on Thursday was the third European country to pass the tragic milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, as it struggles to envision a clear way out of a third wave of infections.

A deep sense of fatigue and frustration has taken root in the country over a seemingly endless cycle of coronavirus restrictions and Paris has been shrouded in gloom for months. The country entered a third national lockdown two weeks ago that has limited outdoor activities, forced nonessential shops to close, banned travel between regions and shut schools for a month.

Michigan, the worst-hit state, is reporting an average of about 50 deaths a day, twice as many as two weeks ago, along with 7,800 or so new cases.

The United States and parts of Western Europe bore the brunt of deaths for the first year of the pandemic. Now, the hot spots for fatalities are in regions like Eastern Europe, South Asia and Latin America.

told The New York Times in Mexico City. “It just never crossed your mind that there would be so many dead in so little time.”

One reason for all the carnage is that richer countries have essentially hoarded vaccines, leaving poorer ones to scramble desperately for doses.

Safety worries about the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, based on a small number of people who developed problems with blood clotting, have also exacerbated vaccine hesitancy around the world — a trend that threatens to prolong the pandemic and subvert nascent vaccination drives.

undone decades of economic progress in India. Now, the country of 1.3 billion people is recording an average of about 1,000 deaths a day as a huge outbreak flares in the western state of Maharashtra, which is home to Mumbai.

India reported 1,341 deaths on Saturday alone, along with nearly a quarter of a million new cases.

Swapnil Gaikwad, 28, whose uncle died on Friday in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, said that it had taken seven hours to perform the traditional burial rites because the local crematory was so busy.

“There was absolutely no space, and more ambulances were arriving,” he said.

At one point, Mr. Gaikwad said, he became so angry that he complained to the staff.

One worker there began to cry. Mr. Gaikwad said some workers had told him that they were so busy at the crematory that they had not seen their own families for days.

Oscar Lopez and Monica Pronczuk contributed reporting.

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The global death toll from Covid-19 is nearing 3 million.

The world’s Covid-19 death toll is approaching yet another once unthinkable number — nearly three million people have died from the virus since the first cases surfaced more than 14 months ago and upended life for people across the globe.

The global death toll stands at 2,990,993, while the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged to nearly 140 million, according to a New York Times database, as countries race to provide enough vaccines to slow the relentless pace of infections.

The pace of deaths has been accelerating. The world did not record one million deaths until Sept. 28, but had recorded two million less than four months later, by Jan. 15 (not Feb. 21, as an earlier version of this report said). And the latest million took just three months.

The United States, Brazil and Mexico lead the world in Covid-19 deaths.

In the United States, more than 564,800 virus-related deaths have been confirmed, about one in 567 people — the most of any other country.

Brazil, where the spread of the virus has been fueled by a highly contagious variant, political infighting and distrust of science, more than 365,000 people have died. The virus is still pummeling the country, which is averaging over 2,900 deaths per day.

The leaders of both countries, which are the region’s two largest nations, have largely dismissed the dangers and have resisted calls for a lockdown.

India, the country with the fourth-highest number of total coronavirus deaths, has recorded more than 174,300 deaths. The virus is surging there once again, prompting more shutdowns and another mass migration away from big cities.

Britain recently ended one of the longest and most stringent lockdowns in the world — more than 127,100 deaths have been recorded. And in Italy, once the nightmarish epicenter of the virus, there have been almost 116,000 confirmed deaths.

Sweden, where officials have taken a more lax approach to combating the coronavirus, has experienced an increase in new cases and deaths recently, with more than 13,700 deaths.

As dangerous virus variants spread, many developed countries are racing to vaccinate their populations as fast as possible. More than 841 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, though some countries have yet to report a single dose, according to a New York Times database that tracks the worldwide rollout of shots.

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