NEW YORK, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United States reached the grim milestone of half a million coronavirus deaths on Monday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
With the national case count topping 28.1 million, the death toll across the United States rose to 500,071 as of 4:24 p.m. local time (2124 GMT), according to the CSSE data.
California replaced New York to become the U.S. state with the most fatalities, standing at 49,439. New York reported the country's second largest death toll of 46,917, followed by Texas with 42,291 deaths and Florida with 30,065 deaths, the CSSE tally showed.
States with more than 15,000 fatalities also include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Massachusetts and Arizona.
The United States remains the nation worst hit by the pandemic, with the world's highest caseload and death toll, accounting for more than 25 percent of the global cases and over 20 percent of the global deaths.
Last year, U.S. COVID-19 deaths hit 100,000 on May 27, topped 200,000 on Sept. 22, and reached 300,000 on Dec. 14. The number surged to 400,000 on Jan. 19, 2021.
It took nearly four months for the national death toll to climb from 100,000 to 200,000, less than three months to jump from 200,000 to 300,000 and only more than one month to soar from 300,000 to 400,000 and from 400,000 to half a million, respectively.
An updated model forecast by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected a total of 589,197 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by June 1, 2021, based on the current projection scenario.