US COVID-19 death toll reaching 500,000

ABC’s Ike Ejiochi has Dr. Fauci’s new message about masks.
2:38 | 02/22/21

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Transcript for US COVID-19 death toll reaching 500,000
The US death tolls from the corona virus is expected to top 500000. People today and even though. Cases are down sharply in the last month doctor Anthony felt she says we may have to Wear masks. Through next year. ABC's Ike a jock she is here with the latest for us thank you so much for joining us I. Good morning cheerleading can have 500000. Deaths it is a grave number in this morning doctor Anthony bass you warning Americans at the fight to return to normal. As far from over. It's an unforgettable milestone the United States approaching half a million deaths it's something that it is stunning when you look at the numbers. Almost unbelievable but it's true if this is a devastating pandemic so many souls lost like Glen and Mike Albert together for fifty years. Dying only eight days apart. It was able to beat her actual hands. They re not the next later. There are positive trends with cases Fong nationwide by 73%. And hospitals Asians dropping my nearly 55%. Yet concerns of the new wave persists with New York reporting its first case of the south African gained in the Long Island resident. And the vaccines may be less protected against it. If in fact this becomes more dominant we may have to get me a version of the vaccine. That is directed specifically. Against the south African Islip doctor fat she warning Americans could be wearing masks into 20/20 two. The vaccination efforts slowed down across the country. After the dangerous winter weather storms delaying six million doses. But even with delays the fight continues with vaccination efforts now revving up around the country. California governor Gavin Newsom toward a new vaccination site in Inglewood. Highlighting the need to address black and brown communities hit hardest. And this morning a new Israeli study in the Pfizer vaccine suggest people who receive both shots are almost 96%. Less likely to get sick. This weekend the country starting to get back to normal. Easing coated restrictions. Losing green passes to residents who have been vaccinated while here at home the Biden administration pushes to get kids back in classrooms. An average Democrats say they'll just this week in their nearly two trillion dollar covad relief package. Meanwhile there are conflicting reports about a herd immunity and when we could reach it one expert says. It could happen as soon as April while doctors claim the population would have to reach eighty per cent vaccination before that can happen and it's just unlikely. For it to happen as quickly Kenneth. ATM debut ABC's newest correspondent welcome to the team I can think you. But beer.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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