More than 200,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 – a bleak milestone reached on Tuesday that comes even as the national death rate continues to decline.
The number of Americans dying from coronavirus per day, based on a weekly average, is now at just over 760.
It is down from the peak 2,000 deaths being reported per day back in April.
While deaths continue to decline across the country, fatalities related to COVID-19 are a lagging indicator and can potentially rise several weeks after new cases.
The national infection rate started increasing just over a week ago, which is a rise health experts have attributed to some schools reopening and parties over the Labor Day holiday.
The average number of COVID-19 cases being reported per day is now at just under 40,000 with total infection in the US topping 6.8 million.
The number of Americans dying from coronavirus per day, based on a weekly average, is now at just over 760. It is down from the peak 2,000 deaths being reported per day back in April
Before this uptick, cases, on average, had been trending downwards nationally since July when about 70,000 infections were being reported daily.
California, Texas and Florida – the three most populous US states – have recorded the most coronavirus infections and have long surpassed the state of New York, which was the epicenter of the outbreak earlier this year.
The southern states of Texas and Florida contributed the most deaths in the US in the past two weeks and were closely followed by California.
Deaths in those three states are currently declining.
The states that saw the largest increases in deaths in the last week were Arkansas, Kansas and Virginia.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is predicting that deaths will rise to more 378,000 by the end of the year.
The model forecasts that more than 114,000 lives could be saved if the majority of Americans wear masks but epidemiologists have already warned that mask-wearing is already declining across the country.
The national infection rate started increasing just over a week ago. The average number of COVID-19 cases being reported per day is now at just under 40,000 with total infection in the US topping 6.8 million
The death rate projected by the IHME model, which has been cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, would more than triple the current daily death rate to to 3,000 per day in December.
During the early months of the pandemic, 200,000 deaths was regarded by many as the maximum number of lives likely to be lost in the United States to the virus.
‘The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering, in some respects stunning,’ Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, told CNN.
President Donald Trump on Monday said he had done a phenomenal job on the pandemic.
‘It affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing,’ Trump told supporters at a Swanton, Ohio, campaign rally Monday night.
‘It affects… elderly people with heart problems and other problems – if they have other problems that’s what it really affects, that’s it.’
Trump has admitted to playing down the danger of the coronavirus early on because he did not want to ‘create a panic.’