With 45,639 deaths since the pandemic began, California, the most populous U.S. state, has unseated New York as the leader in COVID-19 fatalities, according to Thursday’s tally from Johns Hopkins University.
New York state -the fourth most populous state behind Texas and Florida, and California -had held the title since March of last year, due in large part to Governor Cuomo’s controversial policies on the treatment of the elderly.
That first wave of the pandemic was relatively mild in California, especially compared to what happened on the East Coast of the country, but since late last year, the situation in the West has worsened significantly and cases have multiplied.
In terms of cases, California is also the hardest hit state in the country with 3,454,751, more than twice as many as New York.
Within California, Los Angeles County has the highest numbers and with 18,519 deaths accounts for more than a third of the total deaths in the state.
Los Angeles is also the most populous city in California and the second most populated in the U.S.
The counties of Orange and Riverside, both in the vicinity of Los Angeles, are the other two with the highest death toll, with 3,493 and 3,477, respectively.
Other areas of the state heavily impacted by the coronavirus are San Diego County (the state’s second largest city) and the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes several counties.
In terms of vaccinations, the state (population 39 million) has already fully vaccinated (with both doses administered) 2.5% of its population, while 10.4% have received at least the first dose.
Governor Newson has come under heavy criticism for what is perceived to be a slower pace of vaccination than should be, with those in groups 1A and 1B, which include emergency workers, agricultural workers, teachers and people over 65 years of age, currently being vaccinated.