Jayapal warns US on pace to lose more lives to coronavirus than WWI

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-Wash.) warned Thursday that the U.S. is on pace to lose more lives to the coronavirus than it lost during World War I.

Jayapal told Hill.TV that it’s “challenging” for progressives to close in on a priority particularly during the coronavirus pandemic because “there is so much need.”

“People are grasping because we’re facing now going on 100,000 deaths,” she said.

The Washington lawmaker pointed out that the U.S.’s coronavirus death toll has surpassed the number of American fatalities during the Vietnam War, which lasted two decades. During the Vietnam War, about 58,220 Americans died, and the coronavirus has killed at least 93,863 in the U.S., as of Thursday afternoon.

“We will at this rate cross the number of American lives lost during World War I, so there is a lot of angst out there,” she said.

Approximately 116,516 Americans died during World War I, more than half of which were victims of the Spanish flu, a major pandemic of the 20th century.

The lawmaker said progressives need to be more “streamlined about what our asks are” and “more focused” in defining priorities. 

The coronavirus has infected more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. as of Thursday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University.