The United States reported a record high daily COVID-19 death toll Wednesday, topping the peak reached just a day earlier.
More than 3,740 peopled died of coronavirus Wednesday, up from 3,725 Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.
Health experts believe much of the uptick in the spread is linked to the holidays, when people seemingly gave up on safety measures to celebrate with their families.
California reported 424 deaths Wednesday as Los Angeles County reached the grim milestone of 10,000 deaths.
“Most heartbreaking is that if we had done a better job reducing transmission of the virus, many of these deaths would not have happened,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Los Angeles Times.
Texas saw a record number of hospitalizations for the third consecutive day in a row, while Mississippi and Louisiana reported their highest single-day infections.
Federal health officials also admitted that the rollout of the vaccine has been slower than expected, with just less than 2.8 million doses administered as of Wednesday, according to the CDC. More than 12 million doses have been distributed around the country.
Officials initially said they planned to have 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020.
“We agree that that number is lower than what we hoped for,” Moncef Slaoui, scientific adviser of Operation Warp Speed, said at a press conference Wednesday. “We know that it should be better, and we’re working hard to make it better.”