United States has confirmed that it has surpassed 1 million Covid-19 cases, just a few months after the novel coronavirus first arrived in America.
Within a matter of days, the US is also likely to pass another ominous milestone: more than 60,000 confirmed deaths from Covid-19. The current total sits north of 55,000 and more than 1,000 Americans are dying every day from the virus.
The confirmed number of cases, based on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center’s tally, is almost surely an undercount. The US’s initial response to the outbreak was stifled by undertesting and, while America’s testing capacity has increased in the last month, experts say there are still likely many more cases than are actually included in the official counts. Various attempts to roughly capture the share of the population that has been exposed to the coronavirus through serological testing seem to confirm that the US has not fully measured the extent of the outbreak within its own borders.
President Donald Trump once claimed that such a toll would count as a victory, given the projections of millions of deaths if there were no social distancing measure put into place. The ultimate cost in lives of the coronavirus remains to be seen, and, again, experts believe the actual number of people to die from the disease or because the health system has been overstretched is likely much higher than the official count.
The US has by far the most confirmed Covid-19 cases (Spain is second with about 230,000) and deaths (Italy is next, with about 27,000), though many countries have the same issues with undertesting and asymptomatic cases make it difficult to track the virus. China has also acknowledged initially undercounting its cases and outside reporting suggests the pandemic has been deadlier there than the official numbers suggest, though it is difficult to assess whether it has been worse than in America.