More People in the U.S. Have Died From COVID-19 Than Were Killed During WWI

There have now been more coronavirus deaths in the U.S. than the number of Americans that were killed during WWI.

According to Johns Hopkins University, over 117,000 people have died from COVID-19, with over two million cases confirmed. In comparison, 116,516 Americans were killed during WWI.

By October, the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. may also be double the number killed during WWI. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is currently forecasting 201,129 COVID-19 deaths by the first of October, with a range of between 117,551 to 269,395 at time of writing.

The U.S. currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths of any country. Brazil is the next worst affected country, with just under one million cases and 46,510 deaths. This is followed by Russia, with over 552,500 cases, and India, with just under 367,000 cases.

There are many contributing factors to the U.S.' high case load. This includes a slow initial response to the pandemic. Some states were hesitant in putting lockdown orders in place, while very little testing took place at the start of the outbreak. According to Science magazine, the failure to implement a nationwide approach to the response also played a role, with state governments having the power to decide their own course of action.

Many states have also started to reopen, despite warnings it is too early to lift restrictions. There have been huge spikes in coronavirus cases in a number of states that have reduced measures to limit the spread of the virus. Florida, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Oregon are among those affected.

The spike in cases was predicted by researchers at Columbia University at the start of May. The team used computer models to forecast the spread of the virus based on different scenarios of lockdowns being lifted. In one of the more extreme scenarios, where lockdowns were eased to a high extent, they estimated there would be over 63,000 new cases per day with more than 2,400 deaths.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were almost 28,000 confirmed new cases reported on June 16.

WWI cemetery
A U.S. WWI cemetery in France. More people in America have now died from coronavirus than were killed during WWI. iStock