Bodies are moved to a refrigeration truck serving as a temporary morgue at Wyckoff Hospital in the Borough of Brooklyn on April 6, 2020 in New York. (AFP photo)
COVID-19 will kill 115,000 more Americans in January alone as 348,000 have already died since the start of the pandemic across the US, according to a leading model.
The figure came in projections by the University of Washingtonís Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation which indicate the country smashing Decemberís death total of around 77,500.
Coronavirus cases crossed the 20 million mark on Friday across the country, with the shocking prediction showing there will be another spike expected after Christmas.
The University of Washington model projects that there will be 456, 238 deaths by January 31 should the current trends continue.
The rate of COVID-19 infections in the US rose in the second half of last year. It took 200 days to reach the first 5 million cases, 93 days to rise from 5 million cases to 10 million, 31 days from 10 million to 15 million cases and only 25 days to increase from 15 million to 20 million cases, shows an analysis of Reuters data.
Meanwhile, 3.49 million jabs of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been given across the country as of Saturday, according to Bloomberg, but that means that just 1.1 percent of the population has received the vaccine and just 28 percent of the doses have been administered.
The administration of outgoing President Donald Trump had projected that 20 million people would receive the first of the two vaccine shots by the end of 2020.
However, the efficacy of the administrationís roll-out of the vaccine has been criticized by detractors.
"That comprehensive vaccination plans have not been developed at the federal level and sent to the states as models is as incomprehensible as it is inexcusable," said Senator Mitt Romney.
"It was unrealistic to assume that the health care workers already overburdened with Covid care could take on a massive vaccination program."
Romney has urged the government to enlist veterinarians and combat medics to give out coronavirus vaccinations.