The US has now recorded more COVID-19 deaths than the number of Americans killed during World War II, the bloodiest war in human history.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the US saw 405,399 deaths during World War II. As of Wednesday evening, 405,400 COVID-19 deaths had been reported in the US, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The coronavirus pandemic had killed more Americans than the Vietnam War by late April.
And by about mid-May, the US COVID-19 death toll had already surpassed the combined number of Americans killed in battle in every major US war since 1945 — nearly 87,000. The number of Americans killed by COVID-19 is now equivalent to almost half of the total death toll in the Civil War — approximately 620,000 — which was the bloodiest war in American history.
The US has consistently recorded the most COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the world. Johns Hopkins’ tally of cases surpassed 24.3 million as of Wednesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in December noted that the US COVID-19 death toll was set to surpass the total number of US combat deaths during World War II.
Pelosi begins press conference comparing US covid death toll to WWII deaths pic.twitter.com/NI31qqP3Ee
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 10, 2020
Pelosi at the time said that the war brought the country together but that former President Donald Trump was not a “unifying” president.
“We do not have a unifying president of the United States,” she said. “In fact, we have a president in denial, delaying, and distorting, calling it a hoax. Many more thousands of people have died because of that.”
Trump was widely criticized over his response to the US COVID-19 outbreak, and polling consistently found a majority of Americans disapproved of his handling of the pandemic.
The former president repeatedly downplayed the threat of COVID-19, which he was hospitalized for in early October, and gone against the recommendations of top public-health experts.
President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday. During his inaugural address, Biden uged the country to unite in order to defeat the virus.
“We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” Biden said.
Biden later signed a slew of executive actions, including several designed to bolster America’s response to the pandemic.
The president issued a mask mandate on federal property, and rejoined the World Health Organization. He also signed an order establishing a COVID-19 response coordinator who reports directly to the commander-in-chief, which also reestablished the National Security Council’s directorate for global health security and biodefense. Trump had scrapped the directorate, a move that was criticized by Dr. Anthony Fauci — America’s top infectious disease official.
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