US coronavirus death toll hits 250,000, surpassing Fauci's March prediction of 240,000 deaths

 medical worker in full PPE (personal protective equipment) helps transport a patient into University Medical Center amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in El Paso on November 17, 2020 in El Paso, Texas.
medical worker in full PPE (personal protective equipment) helps transport a patient into University Medical Center amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in El Paso on November 17, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. Photo credit Mario Tama/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 250,000, NBC News reported Wednesday morning, based on its data. Johns Hopkins confirmed that figure later in the day.

It's a grim milestone because last March, when the pandemic kicked into gear, Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted the virus might kill up to 240,000. Now, that figure is up to 250,000 and it shows no sign of slowing down.

There has been a 42% increase in COVID fatalities in the U.S. over the past four weeks, NBC News reported. The weekly average has risen to 1,167 deaths per day, up from 821 deaths per day in early October.

On Wednesday morning, John Hopkins University reported 161,934 new COVID cases and 1,707 deaths nationwide Tuesday. It put the total death toll at 248,842 as of early Wednesday afternoon. Just a few hours later, though, the new milestone was reached.

There have been over 11.3 million coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. since the pandemic began.