The U.S. coronavirus death toll, already the largest in the world, hit 200,000 on Tuesday amid the eighth month of the pandemic.

Data from Johns Hopkins University confirms that the total number of fatalities reached 200,005, while the total number of cases nears 7 million. Globally, there are more than 31 million confirmed cases and a total of 965,893 fatalities.

Trailing the U.S. in both COVID-19 fatalities and confirmed cases are India and Brazil.


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Additional models created by the researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project that the death toll in the U.S. could rise to 378,321 by Jan. 1, 2021. This number falls when introducing the effects of universal mask-wearing. 

The disproportionate effect the virus is having on minority populations in the U.S., including Black, Hispanic and Native American communities, has dominated the dialogue surrounding the duel pandemics of COVID-19 and structural racism ravaging the U.S. simultaneously.

One recent statistic released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that among 121 patients under 21 years of age, 78 percent of fatalities were among Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan Native persons. 

Transparency over health equity has grown over the course of the pandemic, prompting multiple states and federal agencies to collect and release data specifically recording the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities among communities of color.

The CDC currently reports that when compared to their White, non-Hispanic counterparts, Black Americans are 2.6 times more likely to contract the virus and 2.1 times more likely to die from a COVID-19 infection. Similarly, Hispanic or Latinx persons are 2.8 times more likely to become infected and 1.1 times more likely to die from the illness. 

Originating from Wuhan, China, the virus is thought to have come from a bat or other zoonotic culprit and quickly spread across Asia and throughout the world. In a battle to stop the spread, governments have been forced to issue stay-at-home orders and public health protocols, such as social distancing and mandatory face masks. While both tactics have helped slow the spread, the global economy has suffered greatly from the shutdown in business activity. 

Working to thread the needle between public safety and economic stability, officials await a vaccine to help usher the world to a pre-pandemic pace.


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Published on Sep 22, 2020