On September 22, 2020, the United States marked a grim milestone in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the coronavirus having killed its 200,000th victim.

The number of American casualties currently stands at 203,800, the highest of any single nation in the world, with the U.S. suffering over one-fifth of the world’s nearly 1 million (990,000) fatalities. This sadly fulfills a prediction made by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in March: “looking at what we are seeing now, I would say between 100,000-200,000 deaths from coronavirus.”

To date, the U.S. has recorded over 7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 400,000 having been hospitalized for the illness since early March. The most populous states are, unsurprisingly, the hardest hit, starting with New York at the outset of the pandemic, with NYC still under quarantine restrictions more than six months later. California surpassed New York as the worst-hit state in July, with over 800,000 infections recorded to date. Cases have been surging in North Dakota in recent weeks, and currently ranks first in the country for the number of cases per capita, with coronavirus infections continuing to rise in Utah, Texas and South Dakota.

To put this ongoing disaster into perspective, the number of victims of natural disasters cannot compare to a catastrophe of this magnitude–the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, considered the most deadly natural disaster in the U.S., killed an estimated 12,000 people, a full order of magnitude less than COVID-19’s death toll. The number of coronavirus victims in the U.S. exceeds the number of Americans killed in the past five major warsKorea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan–combined. It far exceeds the 116,000 killed in the industrialized meat grinder of World War I, and is roughly equal to the 204,000 combat deaths suffered in the American Civil War. The coronavirus death toll would be equal to the September 11 attacks if the attacks were made every day for 69 consecutive days.

While other countries around the world are bracing against the beginnings of a second wave of infections, the U.S. is still grappling with what is considered to be its first wave, with many more infections, hospitalizations and deaths expected before the pandemic is beaten, with researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasting an additional 180,000 deaths by the end of the year. But that number can be cut by nearly two thirds, with their study saying that “increasing mask use to 95% can save nearly 115,000 lives, reducing that expected number of deaths by 62.7%.”

Experts still advise that the public practice physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing to help stem the spread of the virus, and to prevent a potential “twin-demic” of a flu-and-coronavirus combination that could overwhelm the health care system.

“We have to stay strong and do the things that could decrease the spread,” according to White House coronavirus task force testing czar Dr. Brett Giroir.

“Number 1: Wearing a mask when we can’t physically distance. Number 2: Avoiding crowds. Number 3: Hygiene. And with smart testing, we can flatten the curve and slow the spread,” according to Giroir.

“We do have a formula to reduce the deaths, reduce the cases. But we all have to be disciplined and diligent to make sure we obey that every single day.”

10 Comments

    1. When I saw the headline posted, I wound up doing a double-take: “Is that number right?”

      And I’m the one who wrote it.

      The Korean lady in this reaction video, especially toward the end, kinda sums up what the rest of us outside of the ‘States are feeling right now.

  1. When I saw the headline posted, I wound up doing a double-take: “Is that number right?”

    And I’m the one who wrote it.

    The Korean lady in this reaction video, especially toward the end, kinda sums up what the rest of us outside of the ‘States are feeling right now.

  2. I cannot even begin to express my feelings as an American. I have been having the same reaction as the lady in the video—at least once a week, sometimes more. I worked in public health, and I knew that we were in big trouble from the beginning. At what point do very large numbers of deaths from a disease cross over into the realm of, at best, negligent homicide?

    Words escape me…And sadness is replaced by deep anger. The anger must be flipped into positive action.

    VOTE, vote, vote as if your life depended on it. Because it does…

  3. I cannot even begin to express my feelings as an American. I have been having the same reaction as the lady in the video—at least once a week, sometimes more. I worked in public health, and I knew that we were in big trouble from the beginning. At what point do very large numbers of deaths from a disease cross over into the realm of, at best, negligent homicide?

    Words escape me…And sadness is replaced by deep anger. The anger must be flipped into positive action.

    VOTE, vote, vote as if your life depended on it. Because it does…

  4. Well very many things have been handled horribly regarding this from the very beginning, and by very many. So many of the things we were told have also turned out to be obviously quite inaccurate. When I brainstorm among myself and others I know what should have been – and should be – done going forward; we come up with a different outline regarding some things, especially from the economic perspective. There’s a lot that has happened and continues to happen that doesn’t make sense… That is, unless you look at this from a whole different context. There’s some aspects to this that have my spidey senses starting to tingle a little, and I’m starting to hold A LOT of this in question.

  5. Here are numbers that are more disturbing. According to the CDC, 655,000 people die of heart disease per year. 600,000 die from cancer. There are 480,000 deaths from cigarette smoking. Lastly, obesity can kill up to 400,000 per year. In fact, obesity in America is considered an epidemic because 42.4 percent of the Americans are obese. These stated statics do not seem to be a concern compared to the corona virus. Nor is the 4.4million people hospitalized per year due to car accidents. These are staggering numbers and experts need to wrap their head around these numbers as well.

  6. It does seem likely that US COVID-19 death statistics (the worst in the world) will not be headed down any time soon. A number of US Federal government officials in recent weeks have been seen violating the CDC COVID-19 guidelines *without* consequences, most recently when US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar attended a White House Rose Garden event, *not* wearing a mask and *fist-bumping* a colleague.

    Other common US causes of death, such as obesity, are now well-known to be a huge risk factor for death in COVID-19 patients. Last I saw about cigarette smoking this year, US doctors were strongly recommending that US people not smoke *anything* because of the adverse lung effects of smoking, especially in COVID-19 patients.

Leave a Reply