Just over 16,200 people were murdered in the United States for all of 2018, the latest year for which data is entirely reliable. Sometime around 6 PM today, COVID-19 deaths in America passed that number. The first death from the disease was a man in his 50s who died in Washington state. That was only 40 days ago.
Over 454,000 people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in America as of today, according to the Bing COVID-19 Tracker. Only 24,321 have fully recovered. Many of those who are ill today will be added to those listed as dead over the course of the next two weeks. Yesterday, nearly 2,000 people in America died from the disease, a record. That pace is expected to continue for days. The average number of murders per day in the U.S. in 2018 was 44. By August, the death toll from COVID-19 is forecast to reach 60,000. That estimate was as high as 240,000 just days ago.
One notable observation from experts who continue to follow COVID-19 death rates in the U.S. and elsewhere is that deaths are thought to be undercounted. A number of people die at home without a diagnosis, thought to be due to cardiac or respiratory cause–COVID status unknown.
Over 30% of all active cases in the world are in the U.S. as the global figure has just moved above 1.5 million. Spain has the second largest number of cases at 153,000, with just over 15,000 of those dead. Cases in Italy are currently 143,000 with over 18,000 dead. Germany has 116,000 cases with just over 2,400 dead. It is easy to see why Americans would prefer to be on the path that Germany is for death rate, rather than that of Italy.
China, where the spread of the virus began, has slipped to 6th place in the world, with 82,000 cases. Of these just over 3,300 have died. The rate of new cases is small enough that much of the nation has been “reopened”. This includes Wuhan, a city of 11 million, where the outbreak began. Many experts question the accuracy of the Chinese COVID data.
New York has by far and away the largest number of cases among states, at 160,000. New York also has the largest number of cases per capita. That puts it ahead of any other nation. Seven thousand people have died in New York. That is well above Germany and China.
New Jersey is second among states with just above 51,000 active cases. It has 1,700 deaths as of today, At the current rate of growth, New Jersey may pass Germany in total fatalities. Michigan is third among the states based on active cases at just over 21,000 with just above 1,000 dead. California is 4th with 19,000 active cases and just over 500 dead.
Most experts believe there will more “hot spots”, epicenters where case rates will increase sharply. These hot spots have already occurred in the Seattle area, New York City, northern New Jersey, New Orleans, and Detroit. The current general consensus is that some other cities are likely to suffer similarly.
Sixty thousand deaths will not be the end of this ongoing pandemic in the U.S. Public health experts and epidemiologists have made it clear that the numbers of new cases will depend largely upon four factors. Among these are whether the government will insist that public places will remain closed, whether people will continue to practice social isolation, distancing and self-sanitizing, whether scientists develop a vaccination, and if the summer months cut the spread as is the case with more common flu.
It took 365 days for just over 16,000 people to be murders in America in 2018. It will take 10% of the time for COVID-19 to kill as many.