More than 100,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 according to several pandemic-tracking efforts—and the pandemic is far from over. As the country reached the grim milestone, many areas were still seeing increasing case counts, and researchers have suggested that a second wave of infection is looming.
The risk of continued spread remains high as all 50 states have now begun easing restrictions aimed at curbing transmission.
So far, the US leads the world in the number of confirmed cases and deaths, with around 1.7 million cases and over 100,000 deaths. The country with the next highest numbers is Brazil, which has nearly 400,000 cases and over 24,500 deaths.
In per capita comparisons, the United States is also among the worst off. It clusters with Belgium and Spain in terms of cases per million people—about 5,000 cases per million, according to tracking by the Financial Times. Only a few countries have a higher rate, including Qatar, Luxembourg, and Singapore. The UK and Italy, by comparison, have seen around 4,000 cases per million so far, and Germany and France both have around 2,000 cases per million.
The US has fared better with its cumulative death rate per million people. With 283 deaths per million people, the US ranks lower than Belgium, Spain, the UK, Italy, and France—which collectively span from 800 deaths per million to over 400. Germany falls below the US, with a rate of just 100 deaths per million.
Still, the country’s arresting death toll is significantly higher than was predicted by President Trump. As recently as April 20, he said that the death toll was “going toward 50 or 60,000.” He has since adjusted.
Currently, the states hardest hit are New York and New Jersey. New York became the epicenter of the country’s outbreak and has reported around 365,000 cases and nearly 30,000 deaths. Nearby New Jersey has reported around 156,000 cases and 11,000 deaths. Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have also reported hefty tolls.
Data suggests that over a dozen states are still seeing increasing cases. An analysis by BuzzFeed suggests that West Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana, and North Dakota are seeing some of the most significant rises in average daily case counts.
Even more sobering, perhaps, is that the current case and death counts—however stunning—are likely underestimates, largely due to limited testing that has plagued the country’s pandemic response from the very beginning.