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U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Have Passed 200,000

Esquire logo Esquire 9/21/2020 Abigail Covington
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Back in late May, the United States reached a grim milestone: 100,000 lives lost to the Coronavirus. The majority of those deaths occured within a three-month timeframe. On average, over 1,000 people died every single day. Now, nearly four months later, the country has dounled that figure. As of Sunday evening, the official death toll had surpassed 200,000. It's the highest death toll in the world.

It's an unfathomable loss. It's also going to get worse before it gets better. According to data released by John Hopkins University, the number of new Covid cases has increased by at least 10% since last week in 31 states. Multiple states including Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Utah experienced a record number of new daily cases over the weekend. According to the New York Times, 800 people are still dying daily.

a close up of a map: wisconsin coronavirus infection rates © John Hopkins University wisconsin coronavirus infection rates

With an approved vaccine not expected to be widely available until mid-2021 (depending on who you ask), and cooler temperatures forcing people to spend more time indoors, the numbers are unlikely to improve. According to the Associated Press, some experts think the numbers could double before the end of the year, bringing the death toll up to 600,000.

On Friday, Trump claimed that the situation could be much worse. "If we didn’t do our job, it would be three and a half, two and a half, maybe 3 million people." But those numbers and his attitude are in stark contrast to what he said in March when he claimed that a death toll between 100,00 and 200,000 would indicate a job well done.

It's clear that Trump is now trying to move the goal posts to make up for his fumbling of the pandemic ahead of a presidential election that will undoubtedly serve as a referendum on the issue. But doing so might be a lost cause: According to a new poll relased by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 39% of Americans approve of how Trump is handling the outbreak.

Coronavirus cases are increasing in 31 states. Trump downplays the virus. © Pool - Getty Images Coronavirus cases are increasing in 31 states. Trump downplays the virus.
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