The US death toll from coronavirus has now hit 200,000, according to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University.
The bleak milestone, by far the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world, is based on figures supplied by state health authorities.
However, the real toll is thought to be much higher, in part because many Covid-19 deaths were probably ascribed to other causes, especially early on, before widespread testing.
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Jennifer Nuzzo, public health researcher at Johns Hopkins University said: “It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point.”
The number of dead in the US is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days, and it is still climbing.
Deaths are running at close to 770 a day on average, and a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the overall toll will double to 400,000 by the end of the year as schools and colleges reopen and cold weather sets in.
“The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering, in some respects stunning,” said Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert.
The figure reflects America’s unenviable spot, which it has held for five months, as the world’s leader in numbers of confirmed infections and deaths.
The US has less than 5 per cent of the globe’s population but more than 20 per cent of the reported deaths.
Only five countries – Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and Brazil – rank higher in Covid-19 deaths per capita.
Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians have accounted for a disproportionate share of the deaths, underscoring economic and health care disparities in the US.
Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 31 million people and is closing in fast on a million deaths, with over 965,000 lives lost, by Johns Hopkins’ count, though the real numbers are believed to be higher because of gaps in testing and reporting.
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