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Maybe this will make some of you take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously

Published Aug 24th, 2020 10:22AM EDT
Coronavirus deaths
Image: JHDT Productions/Adobe

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  • The number of coronavirus deaths in the US is projected to surpass 200,000 by mid-September, according to one model.
  • The additional deaths from COVID-19 that would be required to reach that amount are eight times the number of people who died in the terror attacks on 9/11.
  • According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 5.6 million reported coronavirus cases in the US, along with more than 176,000 deaths.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is not only complicating everything from the effort to reopen schools around the country to the disaster relief effort in California, where wildfires are forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee. Over the weekend, at least in the US, the number of coronavirus cases surpassed 5.6 million, while deaths have topped 176,000.

The country’s response to the devastation wrought by COVID-19 will overshadow the Republican National Convention, which kicks off Monday and will attempt to make a case for why President Trump deserves to be re-elected. With that in mind, here’s another way to think about where we are at this point in the pandemic, with communities around the US continuing to struggle with everything from the fear and isolation that’s wrecked state and local economies to people even at this late stage who are still convinced this is all being overblown by the media. The number of coronavirus deaths in the US is now expected to surpass 200,000 by mid-September, with the increase between now and then tantamount to eight 9/11s taking place in the country.

That estimate comes from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. According to its latest modeling, the US is likely to top 200,000 deaths from the COVID-19 virus around the middle of next month. That means another roughly 24,000 deaths will be recorded in the coming weeks, which is eight times larger than the number of deaths in the US attributable to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Eight 9/11s. Does that help put the immensity and devastation of this pandemic into better relief for you?

Pointing to the scale of coronavirus deaths in the US, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (and frequent Trump critic) blasted the administration’s response to the crisis, during an interview in recent days with the Sutherland Institute. “Short term,” Romney said, “I think it’s fair to say we really have not distinguished ourselves in a positive way by how we responded to the crisis when it was upon us.”

Continued Romney: “We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s deaths due to COVID-19, and there’s no way to spin that in a positive light.”

What’s even more concerning is the finding from a recent Yale study, which was published earlier this summer in the publication JAMA Internal Medicine and which points out that the number of reported deaths from the coronavirus in the US, despite being so tragically high, is probably far lower than the true amount.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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