COVID-19 Is Now America’s Leading Cause of Death

An inmate from an El Paso prison loads a body onto a morgue trailer in November.Mario Tama/Getty

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COVID-19 surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States this week, according to a report released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

An average of 1,660 people died of COVID in the US each day in the past week, according to IHME. As Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained on CNN, this exceeded the average number of Americans (10,000 to 11,000) who die each week of cardiac issues. In all, more than 11,600 died from COVID in the past seven days.

Fifteen percent of people in the US have been infected, the report notes. Last week, daily reported cases averaged 165,200, up from 145,900 the week before.

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