The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose above 129.6 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. accounting for a quarter of that number at more than 30.5 million. The death toll rose above 2.8 million with the U.S. accounting for about a fifth, or 553,138. The U.S. added at least 77,718 new cases on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, and at least 955 people died. The U.S. has averaged 65,574 cases a day for the last week, up 20% from the average two weeks ago, as cases continue to rise despite the vaccination program, a trend experts say is due to states reopening and dropping restrictions on movement and overall pandemic fatigue. In two items of positive news, the FDA has approved two changes to Moderna's
COVID-19 vaccine that can provide extra doses from each vial, the Associated Press reported. And Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden's top medical adviser, told Reuters that even if AstraZeneca's
vaccine wins U.S. regulatory approval, the country may have enough vaccine doses already secured to take care of the entire U.S. population, including possible boosters.
Outside of the U.S., Brazil is second globally in cases at 12.8 million and also second with a death toll at 325,284. India is third worldwide in cases with 12.3 million and fourth in deaths at 163,396. Mexico is third by deaths at 203,664 and 13th highest by cases at 2.2 million. The U.K. has 4.4 million cases and 127,006 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.