NEW YORK, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) - More than 65,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 in the past 28 days, roughly equivalent to over 1.6 Americans lost to the virus every minute, making December the worst month for COVID-19 deaths in the United States since the start of the pandemic.
The death toll marks a significant surge from that in the entire month of November which registered 36,964 deaths.
"December is already the deadliest month since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States," said a weekly report of The COVID Tracking Project.
Hospitalizations nationwide also hit a record level in the last month of the tough year, as the country reported its fourth-highest number of hospitalizations on Sunday with more than 118,720 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the report.
Bathed in the dawn's light brought by the authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines earlier in December, some Americans started to embrace their Christmas and New Year's holidays, which will further aggravate the virus risk.
Statistics from the Transportation Security Administration show that despite warnings from health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against traveling, more than 1.1 million people were screened at airports on Wednesday, the day before Christmas Eve.
"We very well might see a post-seasonal -- in the sense of Christmas, New Years -- surge," U.S. top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told CNN Sunday morning.
According to Fauci, holiday travel and private gatherings took place regardless of the advice of health experts.