US COVID-19 deaths surpass 50,000

More than 50,000 people in the United States have died of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The death toll is 16 times greater than the number of Americans who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and about one-and-a-half times larger than the number of U.S. soldiers who died in the Korean War, according to a report by The Hill. At the current pace, the number of coronavirus deaths is likely to surpass the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War by the middle of next week.

The true number of deaths is likely higher than official figures. Coroners in California this week reclassified the death of a woman in Santa Clara on Feb 6 as a coronavirus victim, the first known death from the disease in the United States and one that occurred three weeks before what had previously been thought to be the first known death.

About 900,000 people in the United States have tested positive for the virus. The richest nation in the world now accounts for about one-third of the planet’s 2.7 million cases.

The number of U.S. deaths has increased at a rate of about 2,000 per day in recent weeks as scientists race to understand the new pathogen and health systems in hard-hit areas like New York, Boston, New Orleans and Detroit struggle under the strain placed on hospitals and frontline health care workers.

More than a quarter of a million New Yorkers have tested positive for the virus, as have more than 100,000 residents of New Jersey. There are at least 35,000 cases in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and at least 20,000 cases in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.