(Natural News) In just three months, the COVID-19 pandemic has managed to kill more Americans than the Vietnam War, which raged for nearly two decades and claimed 58,220 lives. As of April 29, the U.S. death toll stands at 58,471, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. has a total of 1,014,568 confirmed COVID-19 cases, or a third of the global caseload. Spain and Italy, two of the worst-hit countries in Europe, are a far second and third, with 236,889 and 201,505 cases, respectively. The U.S. also accounts for over a quarter of all coronavirus-related deaths worldwide.
In the past 18 days, new cases in the U.S. have doubled, but health officials warn that the number could be much higher, given the shortage of trained workers and limited testing capacity. Currently, the country has run around 5.7 million total COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic. According to a recent study by Harvard University, the country would need to increase its testing capacity to five million tests a day by early June, and 20 million a day by late July, to reopen the economy. The country’s testing chief, Adm. Brett Giroir, however, blasted the findings, calling the assessment “an Ivory Tower, unreasonable benchmark,” while adding that the U.S. will be able to conduct eight million tests per month by May.
“There is absolutely no way on Earth, on this planet or any other planet, that we can do 20 million tests a day, or even five million tests a day,” added Giroir.
New York state remains to be the epicenter of the outbreak — the state accounts for a third of all U.S. coronavirus cases — followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts and California. In particular, fatalities have been rising since the country’s first recorded death on February 29, with the University of Washington‘s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) model predicting over 74,000 deaths by August, an increase of over 9,000 from its forecast on April 22.
Aside from surpassing the death toll of the Vietnam War, the current coronavirus pandemic has topped the number of deaths from seasonal flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Listen to Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks more about the fatality rate of COVID-19, in particular, how it’s up to 100 times deadlier than the flu:
Long days ahead
The U.S. ranks among the nations with the highest incidence of COVID-19 at 3,169 cases for every million residents. Only Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain have higher figures among severely hit counties, with Spain leading at 7,764 cases per million.
Currently, many states in the U.S. have imposed stay-at-home orders in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. As the country continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 on all sides, some states are already preparing to restart their economies.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his plan to reopen low-risk businesses and workplaces in the coming weeks, provided they strictly comply with social distancing guidelines. The number of new cases and deaths in the state is showing signs of decline despite posting record deaths just last week.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the state will consider reopening once hospital systems are at least 30 percent below capacity. On Tuesday, the governor allowed hospitals upstate to reopen elective surgical procedures. Harder-hit areas, including New York City, are expected to have lockdown measures in place. Paramedics, in particular, report being pushed to the limits as deaths in the city continue to rise.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot already eased the statewide stay-at-home order on April 27. In addition, restaurants, malls, movie theaters and retailers will be allowed to reopen starting May 1.
Pandemic.news has the latest on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.