JOHN Hopkins University on Tuesday reported that more than 200,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus during the current pandemic. Globally, the coronavirus has taken close to 1 million lives and 30 million people have been infected.
That means the United States, with 4% of the world’s population, has seen 20% of all fatalities from the virus. The next-closest country is Brazil which, according to Johns Hopkins, has seen 137,000 COVID-19 deaths.
Speaking during CNN’s Citizen virtual conference on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering and in some respects stunning.”
Fauci lamented that the U.S. does have tools “that could prevent the transmission and by preventing transmission, ultimately preventing the morbidity and mortality that we see.”
But, said Fauci, “simple public health things” are not universally being implemented across the country. “I’m talking about the universal wearing of masks, the attention to keeping distance, the avoiding of crowds, the trying [inaudible] outdoors more than indoors, frequent washing of hands.”
California passed its own grim milestone on Monday, recording 15,000 virus-related deaths. Texas recorded its 15,000th death this past weekend.
According to the CDC, the first lab-confirmed case of coronavirus occurred in Washington State on January 20, 2020. That means in the eight months the country has lost 200,000 citizens, and we’re not even in flu season yet.
An analysis of CDC data from 2014-2017 shows coronavirus is very likely now the third leading cause of death nationally, behind only diseases of the heart and malignant neoplasms, or cancerous tumors.
For comparison, the flu generally ranks about 8th on that list, with total influenza deaths running between 51,000 and 57,000 annually. That’s approximately 1/4 of the coronavirus deaths thus far and 2% of U.S. deaths in each of the years indicated above.
One scary detail about these forecasts is that recent flu deaths in the U.S. have tended to peak in the months of January and February, after holiday gatherings. If fears of a “twindemic” are realized, the country will probably be overwhelmed in the first two months of 2021.
So 300,000 deaths by year’s end may be just the start.
The Spanish Flu pandemic, largely considered to he the most deadly ever, killed 675,000 Americans in 1918-1919. According to the CDC, the second wave of the Spanish Flu — which actually began in Kansas — killed more than either of the other two spikes.
“You know, to the extent that the 1918 flu pandemic was a — was a bit of a model here,” said Fauci on Tuesday, “it’s not perfect, but what they found at that point was in the first six months of the year about 75,000 people died, as we just mentioned close to 200,000 have died in this country during roughly that same time period.
“And what works against you now,” continued Fauci, “is the fact that we’re getting into a weather season where people will be spending more time indoors and depending upon your own social situation, indoors for you or another person may mean poor ventilation, poor airflow and difficulty getting the kind of removal of anything that would lead to spread.
“You talk about particles, you talk about air, singing, coughing, sneezing, all those types of things,” he said, “those are the things that I get concerned about as we get into October and November and December. I’d like to see us go into that at such a low level that when you have the inevitable cases, you can handle them.
“The fact is, we know we could get into serious trouble if we don’t do certain things,” Fauci warned. “And I hope that that understanding is not going to frighten people but will jolt them into realizing that it is within our hands to prevent that.”
PREVIOUSLY: The total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. passed 6 million on Monday, with deaths in the country attributed to COVID-19 now at 183,203. The confirmed cases milestone was reported by the Johns Hopkins Resource Center today, with the total now at 6,002,615 representing about one-fourth of the worldwide total.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s most recent totals have cases just below 6 million, but has not reported data for Monday. The CDC’s numbers have generally been tracking lower than the widely used Johns Hopkins data.
The latest numbers come as most of the country is seeing declining trends in cases, deaths and hospitalizations, with better numbers in states like California, Texas and Florida over the past two weeks. That trio top all states with more than 600,000 confirmed cases apiece.
California, the most infected of the states, is nearing 700,000 cases and most recently reported 5,329 new cases and 140 new deaths Friday. The downward trends have resulted in Gov. Gavin Newsom issuing new, protocols that will enable counties to further reopen across the state.
Other states have been more liberal in their reopening plans, while the past few weeks spikes are being seen at universities and colleges that are allowing students on campus. The nation’s breadbasket has seen the most persistent gains in cases, with Johns Hopkins reporting upward trends in states like South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa.
Globally, as of Sunday there are 25,118,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 884,312 deaths reported, per the World Health Organization. Brazil (3.85 million), India (3.62M) and Russia (995,319) follow the U.S. as the most infected c