COVID-19 sets grim US pandemic record with more deaths than 1918 flu

Brittany A. Roston - Sep 20, 2021, 4:40pm CDT
COVID-19 sets grim US pandemic record with more deaths than 1918 flu

Despite having access to multiple readily available vaccines, the number of people contracting and dying from COVID-19 in the US has been climbing, putting the healthcare system under incredible strain. More than a year after the pandemic was officially declared, the number of US deaths caused by SARS-CoV-2 has exceeded the estimated death toll of the 1918 flu.

More than 675,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. The figure is higher than the estimated deaths that occurred in the US during the 1918 “Spanish” flu pandemic, making COVID-19 the deadliest pandemic in modern US history.

Based on the data from Johns Hopkins University, the US COVID-19 death rate eclipsed 675,000 on Monday, with the number of daily deaths caused by the virus exceeding 1,900. The number of cases is expected to continue climbing as another wave of infections fueled by the Delta variant sweeps many states.

Though the number of deaths has eclipsed the 1918 flu, it is important to note that the US population has also grown substantially in the century or so since that last pandemic occurred. Direct comparisons between the two pandemics are tricky and there are notable differences, such as the 1918 flu being particularly deadly among young populations whereas SARS-CoV-2 is more deadly for older age groups.

The other big difference, of course, is that present-day society has access to multiple vaccines that offer substantial protection against the virus. Despite that, the Internet has fueled a new era of propaganda and misinformation that have driven many people to avoid the vaccine out of unfounded fears. As a result, the ongoing health crisis is often referred to as a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’

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