More than 50,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19, a grim milestone in a global pandemic that shows few signs of slowing even as pressure mounts to reopen parts of the U.S. economy.
The death toll is 16 times greater than the number of Americans who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and about 1 1/2 times larger than the number of U.S. soldiers who died in the Korean War. At the current pace, the number of coronavirus deaths is likely to surpass the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War by the middle of next week.
The true number of deaths is likely higher than official figures. Coroners in California this week reclassified the death of a woman in Santa Clara on Feb. 6 as a coronavirus victim, the first known death from the disease in the United States and one that occurred three weeks before what had previously been thought to be the first known death.
More than 870,000 people in the United States have tested positive for the virus that causes the disease, according to the most recent figures. That number has doubled in the past two weeks, climbing by 25,000 or more cases per day.