More than 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, four months after the U.S. hit 100,000 deaths from the virus.
Some experts say the death toll could almost double by the end of this year, USA Today reported.
The U.S. has recorded more than 6.8 million coronavirus cases. That’s more than any other country in the world, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. The current American total of 200,252 deaths is part of 966,574 deaths worldwide.
The highest number of U.S. deaths have taken place in New York, New Jersey and Texas. As of Tuesday, New York was still adding states to its quarantine list after bringing its positivity rate to around 1%. New Jersey has seen a recent spike in cases. And Texas has begun to relax coronavirus restrictions while keeping its mask mandate in place.
“I hoped we would be in a better place by now,” Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told NPR. “It’s an enormous and tragic loss of life.”
Rivers said if current trends continue, by the end of the year, Americans will likely see Covid-19 become the third leading cause of death in the country, after heart disease and cancer.
The Associated Press reported that the present death toll is the equivalent of a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days. The U.S. is currently averaging 770 deaths a day from the virus.
“The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering, in some respects stunning,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN.
Researchers are working with pharmaceutical companies to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The most advanced of those efforts are still in Phase 3 clinical trials. Experts estimate a vaccine could be widely available anywhere from mid- to late 2021.