The number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. is likely less than two weeks away from surpassing the 1918 pandemic death toll.
In the H1N1 flu pandemic of 1918, an estimated 675,000 Americans lost their lives. To date, 662,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, meaning the U.S. is less than 13,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths away from surpassing that staggering death toll more than a century later.
However, in comparing the pandemics it’s important to note that the population of the U.S. is significantly higher now than it was in 1918.
Even though the nation is 18 months into the pandemic, more than 1,000 Americans are still dying each day of the virus. It’s a sobering milestone as the national average of deaths had dropped to a near pandemic low of 191 deaths each day just two months ago.
Now, death metrics are on the rise, and the U.S. vaccination rate has fallen in recent weeks. Since Aug. 10 the rate of Americans receiving their first dose declined by 42.7%.
-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos