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The number of Americans killed by COVID-19 as of Tuesday is higher than the 116,516 killed during World War I—a war waged from 1914 to 1918 that reshaped the globe.
Deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. had already topped all U.S. deaths from every war since the 1950 start of the Korean War. And deaths from COVID-19 already surpassed those from the 1968 pandemic, which claimed 100,000 lives. However the number killed by COVID-19 is still far below the 675,000 deaths from the 1918 Spanish flu.
The deaths resulting from this pandemic and soldiers killed in war are two very different types of loss. But a consideration of both does help convey the sheer magnitude of the virus and its devastating effect on U.S. lives.
COVID-19 is still far from the leading cause of death in the U.S. Every year, heart disease and cancer claim the most American lives and are likely to be the top two killers again this year. But COVID-19 deaths are still increasing at a fast clip and will probably outstrip those from diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Though many states are currently easing their stay-at-home orders, some are seeing coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise, including Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.