US becomes first country to record 100,000 coronavirus deaths

27 May 2020, 23:33

Over 100,000 people have now died from coronavirus in the US
Over 100,000 people have now died from coronavirus in the US. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The United States has become the first country in the world to record 100,000 coronavirus deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country's death toll became the highest in the world in early April, surpassing that of the UK and Italy.

Fatalities have more than doubled in last month, hitting 50,000 deaths on 24 April.

The US saw its first Covid-19-related death on February 6, reaching 100 on March 17, before escalating to an average of almost 900 deaths a day since then.

President Donald Trump initially said "50 to 60,000" people could die during the outbreak, but later said he hoped the toll would be lower than 100,000.

Mr Trump likened the coronavirus several months ago to the flu and dismissed worries that it could lead to so many deaths.

But the administration's leading scientists have since warned that as many as 240,000 Americans could die in the country's outbreak.

The news comes as only half of Americans said they would be willing to get vaccinated if scientists are successful in developing a vaccine, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.

According to the AP-NORC poll, about half of Americans said they would get a Covid-19 vaccine if scientists working to create one succeed.

The poll found 31 per cent simply were not sure if they would get vaccinated.

Another one in five said they would refuse. Among Americans who say they would not get vaccinated, seven in 10 worry about safety.

Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, said: "It is a grim milestone. It's a striking reminder of how dangerous this virus can be."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, issued a stern warning after viewing video showing Memorial Day crowds gathered at a pool party in Missouri.

He said: "We have situation in which you see that type of crowding with no mask and people interacting. That's not prudent and that's inviting a situation that could get out of control. Don't start leapfrogging some of the recommendations in the guidelines because that's really tempting fate and asking for trouble."

After months of lockdowns in countries around the world, places have begun reopening in stages.

Nevada governor Steve Sisolak announced he will allow casinos to reopen on June 4, welcoming tourists to return to the glitzy gambling mecca of Las Vegas.

The Democratic governor told reporters that Nevada will welcome visitors from across the country to come to Las Vegas and have a good time.

Mr Sisolak closed the casinos 10 weeks ago as part of a broad shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The casinos typically draw millions of tourists to Las Vegas and power the state's economy. The governor said he would also allow in-person religious services of up to 50 people starting on Friday.

Churches began opening up. And people restless at being cooped up indoors for weeks have started venturing outside in droves, often without practising safe social distancing or wearing protective coverings.

Public health experts have warned that more deaths could be expected as we are "still probably only in the early stages" of the pandemic.

Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, said: "Despite the terrible losses seen and the many difficulties Americans have faced to date in this pandemic, we're still probably only in the early stages.

"In the US we could be looking at a long pandemic summer with a slow burn of cases and deaths. There's also reason to be concerned about a new wave of infections in the fall. So, we're definitely not out of the woods yet."

Elsewhere, South Korea announced a spike in new infections and considered reimposing social distancing restrictions, revealing the setbacks ahead for other nations on the road to reopening.

It reported 40 newly-confirmed cases - the biggest daily jump in nearly 50 days.

All but four of the cases were in the densely populated Seoul region, where officials are scrambling to stop transmissions linked to nightclubs, karaoke rooms and a massive e-commerce warehouse.

All were reopened last month when social distancing measures were relaxed.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

King Charles in Dubai

Charles to tell world leaders 'the Earth does not belong to us' at Cop28 as he 'prays for action on climate'

Israel Palestinians

Israel announces resumption of combat in Gaza Strip as truce with Hamas expires

Parts of the UK are set to see 5cm of snow on Friday

Brits to get 5cm of snow in wintry blast as temperatures plummet to -10C, after schools close

The IDF said fighting had resumed

Israel-Hamas restarts as truce deadline expires, after IDF intercepts missile fired from Gaza

Released prisoner

Israeli military confirms release of six more hostages in Gaza Strip

Rishi Sunak will call for an "era of action" on the climate

Sunak to call for 'era of action' on climate at Cop28 - despite watering down green measures at home

Omid Scobie has insisted he never sent out a book including two royals' names amid racism allegations

Dutch translator on Omid Scobie's Endgame insists she was sent manuscript with two royals' names in race row

Lloyds banking group is closing more branches in 2024.

Lloyds group to close 45 branches as Labour pledges to keep banks back on the high street - is your local affected?

Hall and Oates

Hall and Oates row: Judge extends pause on Oates’ sale of stake in business

Hamas has claimed Israel is refusing to take back the bodies of the Bibas family

Hamas releases propaganda video of father of 10-month-old Kfir Bibas saying Israel refuses to take his family's bodies

Police clashed with Legia Warsaw fans

Three officers injured as Polish football fans unleash 'planned and systematic violence' on police ahead of Villa game

William and Kate dazzled on the red carpet as they brushed off Scobie's claims

William and Kate all smiles on red carpet as royals brush aside storm around Omid Scobie's book Endgame

Opec sign

Saudi Arabia extends cut in oil it sends to world in bid to boost prices

An 18-month row over pay, job security and conditions has come to an end, for now

'Provoke us again and we will respond in kind': Mick Lynch issues new threat to government after pay deal halts strikes

Matt Hancock appeared at the Covid inquiry on Thursday

Cummings a 'malign actor' and 'missed opportunities': 11 revelations from Matt Hancock's Covid inquiry appearance

Phillip Hancock

Man executed in Oklahoma over double killing in 2001