For months, the world has watched in horror as the coronavirus rapidly spread across the United States and out of control.
More than 297,800 Americans have died from COVID-19, and at least 16 million people have been infected.
On December 11, the US recorded 3112 deaths in 24 hours – more than the total victims of the September 11 terror attacks.
It is by far the world’s worst-hit country, and more devastation is on the horizon.
Dr Robert Redfield, a director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said he expected daily coronavirus death tolls over the next two to three months would be around that 3000 mark.
This is despite a rapid emergency rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which could start as soon as Monday.
Surveys out of the US show only half of its citizens will be willing to take the vaccine, stoking more fears for just how the country will survive this pandemic.
Here are five shocking scenes that show how badly the US is losing its fight against COVID-19.
Coffins flying off shelves
In the state of New York, more than 35,000 people have died from the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Funeral homes have been filling up with dead bodies.
In this photo (above), taken on April 29 during the height of the state’s coronavirus outbreak, a funeral home worker in New York City checks the stock of pre-sold caskets.
During the busiest time, many staff members were forced to work seven days a week to keep up with the influx of corpses leaving hospitals.
This photo of NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns doesn’t appear shocking straight up – but his story is.
At just 25 years old, the Minnesota Timberwolves player is grieving no less than seven family members – including his mum.
“I’ve seen a lot of coffins in the last seven months, eight months,” Towns said.
Towns’ mother, Jacqueline Towns, died in April of health complications related to the coronavirus.
In the months that followed, six more family members died.
“I feel like I’ve been hardened a little bit by life, and humbled,” he said.
A hospital car park transformed
A photo of the makeshift facility was first shared on Twitter by intensive care doctor Jacob Keeperman in November, when he revealed there had been “five deaths in the last 32 hours”.
More than 2500 people have died in Nevada so far.
As my 1st clinical week in the COVID ICU at Renown @renownhealth I want to thank all the incredible staff who are Fighting the Good Fight to help all those suffering from COVID-19. With 5 deaths in the last 32 hours, everyone is struggling to keep their head-up. Stay strong. pic.twitter.com/pHLp4PPzA6
— Jacob Keeperman (@critcare_airems) November 29, 2020
iPads ready for digital goodbyes
These are iPad stations being prepared for virtual ICU end of life visits by a palliative care doc I know. Jesus. pic.twitter.com/lIgbg0FhaL
— i cant drive, n95 (@roto_tudor) December 3, 2020
A heartbreaking image of iPads being prepared for coronavirus patients’ final goodbyes to family circulated on social media in December.
Across the US, tens of thousands of people are being forced to die alone in hospital beds without a loved one squeezing their hand.
All they can do is wave at their family through a screen.
National anthem singers
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
During a choir rehearsal in Mount Vernon, Washington, in March, a coronavirus super-spreader unknowingly infected 52 people, resulting in two deaths.
According to a report by the CDC, “transmission was likely facilitated by close proximity (within six feet) during practice, and augmented by the act of singing”.
That is why this footage of Trump supporters belting out the national anthem – with barely a face mask in sight – is so troubling.
On Saturday, conservatives fighting the US election result staged protests across the country, with one in Washington turning violent.
Organisers of Stop The Steal and church groups urged supporters to participate in “Jericho Marches” and prayer rallies.
Local media in the Washington state capital of Olympia reported that one person was shot and three arrested after clashes between pro- and anti-Trump protest groups.