The US reported more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths Thursday -- the most virus-related deaths the country has reported in one day since the pandemic's start.

Iran PressAmerica: It's the third day in a row of record daily deaths from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while the number of people who have been infected topped more than 21.56 million.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent forecast projected there will be between 405,000 and 438,000 deaths by the end of the month. The previous forecast, published December 30, projected up to 424,000 deaths by January 23.

The ongoing spread of the virus and climbing number of deaths comes even as the US is working to distribute vital COVID-19 vaccines -- a process that has been criticized for being too slow.

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Thursday that states able to vaccinate beyond phase 1a recommendations -- which include health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities -- should do so.

The US continues to lead the world in infections and deaths.

The global death toll is 1,906,693 with 88,499,938 confirmed cases. 


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