Speed Reads

almost 1 million gone

U.S. COVID deaths could hit 1 million mark in next few weeks

More than two years into the pandemic, the U.S. is approaching the "once-unthinkable" threshold of 1 million COVID-19 deaths, The Wall Street Journal reports Monday.

Of the 990,000 and counting death certificates recorded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "at least 90 percent list COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death," the Journal reports. The remaining 10 percent list the virus as a contributing cause of death.

The New York Times has estimated the country will arrive at the 1 million mark within the coming weeks. When independently analyzed using the current seven-day average of 376 deaths, per CDC data, The Week similarly calculated the U.S. would hit one million COVID deaths in about a month.

Meanwhile, experts have cautioned that the virus' exact toll is likely being underestimated in official reports, considering undiagnosed cases, especially those from early 2020, the Journal reports.

Since the start of the pandemic, almost 75 percent of all deaths have been among those at least 65 years old, the CDC has reported. The virus also hit nursing homes especially hard, a phenomenon vaccines eventually helped curb.

When the data is adjusted for age, Black and Hispanic Americans are overrepresented among COVID-19 deaths, while white Americans are underrepresented. The total number of pandemic deaths is otherwise highest for the white population, "both because it is the largest and significantly older, on average," the Journal writes.

Virus deaths also hit men harder than women, considering "men are prone to cardiovascular problems that can heighten the risks of COVID-19 infections," the Journal reports. Researchers believe there could also be a difference in how the male and female immune systems respond to the disease.

Read more on the grim milestone and the demographics of COVID-19 mortalities at The Wall Street Journal.