US death toll from coronavirus tops 100000

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According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 5.6 million people and killed over 350,000, with the US having the most confirmed cases and deaths by far. Europe has recorded about 170,000 deaths, while the US reached more than 100,000 in less than four months. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — With coronavirus-related deaths surpassing 100,000 on Wednesday, the United States has become the first country to reach the grim milestone.

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 5.6 million people and killed over 350,000, with the US having the most confirmed cases and deaths by far. Europe has recorded about 170,000 deaths, while the US reached more than 100,000 in less than four months.

About 6 percent of the nearly 1.7 million people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the US have now succumbed to the disease, according to a mortality analysis by Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The death toll in the United States is still climbing, however, and federal officials warn that the likely actual toll from the coronavirus is higher than the official figure.

Public health experts say the coronavirus has exposed the vulnerability of a wide range of Americans and the shortcomings of a US health care system faced with a deadly pandemic.

US can expect millions more cases and a tragic number of deaths to come, unless the virus takes an unprecedented and unforeseen vector. With regional infection rates varying from about 5-20 percent, most experts believe the virus will continue to churn through the US population until the overall rate of infection is 50-60 percent — or until a vaccine is widely administered, experts say.

The majority of deaths have been reported in the states of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Boston, Michigan and Pennsylvania, making up over half of the country’s death toll. New York state alone has recorded more than 29,000 deaths on its own. Hundreds of people are dying per day in New York City, and hospitals, ambulances and first responders were inundated with patients.

Early on, President Donald Trump downplayed the severity of the coronavirus, calling it no worse than the common flu. He previously predicted the country wouldn't reach this death toll. As early as March, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, was warning that COVID-19 could claim more than 100,000 lives in the US. — Agencies


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