Nearly 1 Year In, Virus Death Toll in U.S. Surpasses 400,000

More than 416,000 people in the United States who had the coronavirus have died, according to data compiled b the New York Times as the anniversary of the country’s first known death in the pandemic approaches.

The pace at which Americans have been dying accelerated through the fall and into the winter, exploding to record levels in January. During some weeks this month, the average deaths per day exceeded 3,300, more than the number of people killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This past week’s harrowing milestone came a day after the United States surpassed 24 million total cases.

The single deadliest day of the pandemic so far was Jan. 12, when more than 4,400 deaths were reported. Unlike in the early days of the outbreak in the United States, which was centered in a handful of big, mostly Northeastern cities, this surge is widespread.

Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma and South Carolina are reporting the most new cases per capita over the previous week. Much of the latest surge has been attributed to people gathering over the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.

The length of time it has taken to log each 100,000 deaths has decreased dramatically since the country’s first known Covid-19 death, which occurred in Santa Clara County, California, on Feb. 6, 2020.

The first 100,000 U.S. deaths were confirmed by May 27. It then took four months for the nation to log another 100,000 deaths. The next, about three months.

The latest, just five weeks.

Public health experts do not expect mortality rates to peak until the end of the month. By the end of February, the death toll might hit 500,000, a number that would have seemed unthinkable a year ago. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, estimated in March that up to 240,000 Americans might lose their lives, an enormous figure that still fell far short of reality.

The United States has had more total Covid-19 deaths than any other country in the world. In total, New York alone has recorded more than 40,000 known deaths. In all, more than 2 million people have died with the virus worldwide, a number that is almost certainly an undercount.

The blame for the enormous loss of American life, many experts say, lies in a failure of leadership by President Donald Trump, whose administration politicized the use of masks and left states to implement a patchwork of inconsistent measures that did not bring the virus under control.

“It wasn’t that he was just inept,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University professor of environmental health sciences who has modeled the virus’s spread. “He made something that could have very easily turned into a point of patriotism, pride and national unity—protecting your neighbors, protecting your loved ones, protecting your community—into a divisive issue, as is his wont, and it cost people’s lives.”

By comparison, Vietnam, a nation of 97 million people, has confirmed just 35 virus-related deaths, Shaman added.

President-elect Joe Biden, was inaugurated on Jan. 20, has called for an aggressive national strategy to beat the virus, including ramping up the availability of Covid-19 vaccines, though he has not committed to a federal mask mandate.

“You have my word that we will manage the hell out of this operation,” Biden said days before his swearing in, noting the disproportionate deadly outcomes for Black, Latino and Indigenous Americans. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

With the virus rampaging everywhere for so many months, hospitals have been stretched. In rural areas, doctors have at times been unable to transfer gravely ill patients to larger medical centers for more sophisticated treatment.

As of Jan. 18, the seven-day average of cases across the United States was 200,000 a day, though it has started to decline from recent weeks.

Hospitalizations also have finally begun to level off and Sunday reached their lowest level since Jan. 2. In the Midwest, hit by its worst surge in the fall, case numbers have fallen sharply in recent weeks, but that progress seems to be slowing.

However, new variants of the virus, some of which make it more transmissible, could soon spread throughout and threaten to make infections rise again.

“There’s no clear end in sight anytime in the near future,” said Ira M. Longini Jr., a biostatistics professor at the University of Florida.

The variants have made it even more urgent to administer the coronavirus vaccines developed at record speed that brought so much hope to people when they started to become available last month.

But at the slow rate that shots are being administered—about 10.6 million people had received at least the first dose as of Friday—Shaman warned, it could take more months than expected to reach enough of a critical mass of vaccinated people for the inoculations to make a dent in the pandemic.

Copyright 2021 The New York Times Company

13 Comments

  1. 93% of the Rona related deaths are 55+,
    80% of the Rona related deaths are 65+,
    1% of deaths of people under 24 were related to, not necessarily caused by, Rona.

    Yes 55 and 65 yo roam the streets and stores, Antifa/BLM riot for months straight in the streets, kids are stuck home in front Chromebooks for a year plus, and everyone else is out of work?

    Now Chicago and NYC are calling for full reopening now that Biden is in…

    Plandemic for politically expedient purposes.

    Evil

  2. SJ KULAK you wrote:

    “93% of the Rona related deaths are 55+,
    80% of the Rona related deaths are 65+,
    1% of deaths of people under 24 were related to, not necessarily caused by, Rona.”

    But you are FAILING miserably to discuss the long term side effects or impairments of those who “survive”. Death may be in some cases the merciful result of COVID

    SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE you wrote:

    “The Noo Yawk Times?

    Why not use a reputable source?”

    You have the right to ask for some “substantiation” but you also have no proof that this specific article was not properly resourced by the typical 2 reputable resources that the New York Times requires to publish a story.

    As I described before using a Wikipedia page to try to convince that the New York Times has a “poor” record of reporting accuracy is a bad idea since Wikipedia does not validate what it publishes.

    And even Wikipedia says it is not a reliable source of research, only a starting point. That is found in the article “ Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a reliable source” found here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_not_a_reliable_source#:~:text=Wikipedia%20can%20be%20edited%20by,progress%2C%20or%20just%20plain%20wrong.)

    What I find curious is the these 2 posters seem to post in coordination with each other, curious?

  3. At the outset of this great ‘pandemic’ we were told that virtually everybody would be exposed. We were told that, given ‘two weeks’ we would flatten the curve and keep the health care system from being overwhelmed.

    Fauci admitted he initially lied about the effectiveness of masks so that health had care workers would get top priority in access to them. How many thousands of people died because of his lies?

    Also, Vietnam is a miracle of an effective Covid-19 response.
    So much so, that the only thing that makes sense is how they count an actual Covid death. We seem to play cute games with our testing and how deaths ‘with Covid’ and ‘from Covid’ are recorded.
    ‘Dear Leader’ Newsom is not releasing data on California’s lockdown to those filing public records requests.

    Blame Trump all you want but, how different is the result from virtually every other country in the world.

  4. let me be clear so I don’t have to repeat myself

    Mr. Bubble is hands-down, indisputably, without a doubt, the singularly greatest commenter in the bay area, there really is no question. Implying that I am somehow even comparable or coordinated with him is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

    Back in the Age of Legend there was another who could make a claim to Mr. Bubble’s preeminence, ‘frustrated finfan’. There was greatness there, consisent greatness, but he has since moved on to other fertile soils…

  5. WILLIAM ASHBLESS you wrote:

    “At the outset of this great ‘pandemic’ we were told that virtually everybody would be exposed. We were told that, given ‘two weeks’ we would flatten the curve and keep the health care system from being overwhelmed.”

    You KNOW that “pandemics” are not that simple. In fact twice we did flatten the curve, but then we PREMATURLY tried to reduce the only tools we had to control it. Now we are possibly in the process again, but watch, it will simply resurge. You wrote:

    “Fauci admitted he initially lied about the effectiveness of masks so that health had care workers would get top priority in access to them. How many thousands of people died because of his lies?”

    That was because Donald Trump DID NOT USE THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT to ensure we had the supplies necessary. And even today the supply chains are not solid. And if you look well enough, a LOT of medical care people got sick and died even though Fauci tried to prevent it. You wrote:

    “Also, Vietnam is a miracle of an effective Covid-19 response”

    Vietnam is hardly a good example of a “First” world model, their living arrangements are that very little traveling occurs in that country, so it is easy to “isolate” infections. On top of that, they have “socialist” economic system, which obviously we don’t. They also practice a strong investment into “long term” and “crisis expectations” healthcare system. Which we do not. You can read about it her “ Emerging COVID-19 success story: Vietnam’s commitment to containment “ (https://ourworldindata.org/covid-exemplar-vietnam)

  6. SJ KULAK you wrote:

    “let me be clear so I don’t have to repeat myself

    Mr. Bubble is hands-down, indisputably, without a doubt, the singularly greatest commenter in the bay area, there really is no question. Implying that I am somehow even comparable or coordinated with him is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

    Back in the Age of Legend there was another who could make a claim to Mr. Bubble’s preeminence, ‘frustrated finfan’. There was greatness there, consisent greatness, but he has since moved on to other fertile soils…”

    The problem is that SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE is not a person, it is another “blog” with links to this webpage. In fact, you can “click” his name on this page and it will open it. Of course, like Wikipedia stated, when you have “circular” validation processes, like you and “BUBBLE” that make it “appear” that there is validity to an opinion. In the end, what “education” and what “expertise” do you have? I do not claim to have formal education, but my experiences in the topic, and my work to mitigate business problems “of ALL kinds” gives me some ideas. Finally, given you use a “alias” instead of your real identity raises a lot of questions too.

    In the end, you are free to express yourselves, but you have no right to either personally insult, or intimidate anyone from expressing theirs.

  7. Mr. Goldstein,

    What makes you feel that you have the right to tell someone else what they have the right to do, or not do? What makes you better or more wise than all the other posters? Or do you simply feel you are better, smarter and wiser?

    I have been told that sometimes sitting quietly and listening, or reading, the opinions of others makes us wise. Perhaps more reading and listening is in order.

  8. WORK90 you wrote:

    “Mr. Goldstein,

    What makes you feel that you have the right to tell someone else what they have the right to do, or not do? What makes you better or more wise than all the other posters? Or do you simply feel you are better, smarter and wiser?”

    Are you in fact saying you defend posters that “personally insult, or intimidate anyone from expressing theirs” I hate so say this but I am simply OVERSTATING THE OBVIOUS. It is simple COMMON SENSE. In effect you want to promote a hostile online environment, correct? So when you said:

    “I have been told that sometimes sitting quietly and listening, or reading, the opinions of others makes us wise. Perhaps more reading and listening is in order.”

    Not when the content or the language is used to simply be insulting, or intimidating, like the same way you are being right now. If you want an EXCLUSIVE location to discuss your topics without any questions regarding their validity, you should host your own webpage.

    In fact, I am only reiterating the terms of use of this website, and trying to get someone to pay attention to the violations of it.

  9. Work90,

    Now that demonstrated a constructive discussion.

    This time still poses significant unsafe conditions regarding COVID.

    I wonder, do you have any information to contribute?

    Otherwise, It looks like when Trump said it was keeping track of vaccine production, new evidence is demonstrating that did not happen. In fact many on the “task” force were working “part-time” on it. Did this demonstrate the “best” in our leadership?

    Ouch.

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