Around two weeks before the anniversary of the global COVID-19 outbreak having been declared a pandemic, the U.S. is about to pass a grim milestone. According to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker, the number of deaths associated with the disease is set to pass 500,000 today or tomorrow at the latest, making the U.S. the worst affected country by far.
Not only has the coronavirus pandemic now taken more lives than every armed conflict the U.S. has been part of since the Korean War, it’s also on track to become the deadliest public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish Flu), which killed 675,000 people in the United States and at least 50 million worldwide.
Considering the difficulties involved in accurately tracking an outbreak of this scale, public health experts say that the official tally is probably an undercount, meaning that the real death toll of the novel coronavirus may be even higher than reported. As of February 21, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. stood at 28.1 million, ahead of India (11.0 million), Brazil (10.2 million) and Russia as well as the UK with 4.1 million cases each. Meanwhile the global death toll of the pandemic stands at 2.5 million, with Brazil, Mexico, India, the UK and Italy the worst affected countries aside from the United States.