On February 29, 2020 the United States recorded its first death connected to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. At the time, estimates of the numbers of deaths the newly-identified virus might cause were all over the map. Some said it was no worse than the seasonal flu which, from 2017-2018 had caused 51,000 deaths in the U.S. Other estimates were much higher.
In March of that year, surveys seeking to project the upper limit of lives lost came up with much higher numbers. The CDC found that, if no interventions were taken at all, the country would suffer more than 1.5 million deaths. An influential Imperial College of London report estimated the toll at 2.3 million.
Now, close to two years later, the nation has crossed the threshold of 900,000 lives lost. According to Johns Hopkins University, 900,528 Americans have now suffered Covid-related deaths. While that number is less that half of the Imperial College of London projection from 2020, it comes despite a massive intervention courtesy of vaccines, masks, lockdowns and social distancing. And, while cases, hospitalizations and test positivity are falling across the country, deaths are still rising due to the Omicron surge, with 2,241 in just the past 24 hours.
The latest CDC forecast of Covid-related deaths, created on January 24, had the U.S. seeing death number 900,000 on Sunday. It has deaths peaking on about February 12 at approximately 17,000 a week, or 2,400 deaths a day. The forecast predicts that, even as deaths begin to fall, the country will see another 36,000 Covid-related deaths for a total of more than 937,000 by February 17 or so. That would mean roughly 40,000 deaths in just 2 weeks.
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