The United States Suffers Its Worst Death Toll Yet

Anthony Behar/AP

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Wednesday, the United States reported a record 2,804 deaths from the coronavirus, the single-worst daily death toll from the pandemic yet. The number, which is expected to rapidly climb as winter deepens, surpasses the country’s previous peak of 2,607 deaths recorded on April 15 during the first wave of the pandemic, according to John Hopkins’ COVID tracker.

It’s a devastating milestone. As CNN noted, the US is losing more people each day than other countries, including Japan, have lost throughout the entire pandemic. The single-day death toll easily exceeds the number of people killed in the Pearl Harbor assault and is poised to soon surpass the nation’s death toll from the attacks of September 11, 2001. 

Hospitalizations and infection rates across the US are also continuing to break records. “The time for debating whether or not masks work or not is over; we clearly have scientific evidence,” Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Wednesday, warning that the winter season will see the “most difficult time in the public history of this nation.”

But even as the country approaches this unimaginably difficult winter, promising news on the vaccine front continues apace. This week, the United Kingdom became the first country to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine, and the US is likely to follow in the days ahead. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have said that they are all willing to take the vaccine on television in order to boost public confidence in its safety.

Meanwhile, the country’s lame-duck president yesterday posted a bizarre, 40-minute long video packed with dangerous, entirely false claims of election fraud that barely made mention of the pandemic or its death toll. Other Trump administration officials are busy making plans to pack 900 guests into the White House for indoor Christmas parties.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate