COVID-19 deaths top 4 million worldwide. The pandemic persists, even in the U.S.

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The global death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 4 million Wednesday as the crisis increasingly becomes a race between the vaccine and the highly contagious delta variant.

The tally of lives lost over the past year and a half, as compiled from official sources by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the number of people killed in battle in all of the world’s wars since 1982, according to estimates from the Peace Research Institute Oslo.

The toll is three times the number of people killed in traffic accidents around the globe every year. It is about equal to the population of Los Angeles or the nation of Georgia. It is equivalent to more than half of Hong Kong or close to 50% of New York City.

The spread of the Delta coronavirus variant in the United States has many experts questioning whether it should be time to start testing even vaccinated people for the virus.

Although health officials have said evidence shows vaccinated people are unlikely to spread the virus to others, Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, says it may be important to watch to make sure the more transmissible Delta variant does not evade the effects of vaccines.

Coronavirus concerns plague the Olympics, and some pockets of the U.S. are seeing more cases and considering reverting to mask requirements.