US crosses new COVID-19 milestone: Half a million Americans dead

IVAN PEREIRA
·2 min read

America surpassed another deadly coronavirus milestone Monday.

The country has recorded 500,071 deaths related to COVID-19, according to data from John Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The U.S. leads the world in coronavirus-related deaths, and is the location for 20.3% of the world's 2.47 million deaths related to the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. Brazil, with nearly 246,500 fatalities, has the second-highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in the world, the data showed.

By comparison, there were 498,332 combined Union and Confederate deaths recorded in the Civil War, according to the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 675,000 Americans died from the 1918 flu epidemic.

MORE: Faces of some of the lives lost this year in the COVID-19 crisis

The U.S. death toll is now greater than the entire population of Kansas City, Missouri, which is 495,327, according to the U.S. Census, and the country of Belize, which is estimated at 420,000, according to the Statistical Institute of Belize.

PHOTO: A man places flags at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Jan. 19, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (Charlie Riedel/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: A man places flags at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Jan. 19, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (Charlie Riedel/AP, FILE)

The U.S. also leads the world in coronavirus cases, over 28 million, followed by India with 11 million, according to health data.

MORE: Timeline of the global COVID-19 pandemic

California is the state with the most recorded coronavirus deaths, 49,345, followed by New York with 46,812, and Texas, 42,162, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Los Angeles County's 19,885 recorded fatalities, is the highest among U.S. counties, Johns Hopkins University's health data shows.

PHOTO: Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Dr. Thomas Yadegar walks inside a temporary Emergency Room, built into a parking garage at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, Calif., Jan. 3, 2021. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Dr. Thomas Yadegar walks inside a temporary Emergency Room, built into a parking garage at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, Calif., Jan. 3, 2021. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)

The CDC reported the first American COVID-19 death on Feb. 29. 2020, however later autopsies determined that coronavirus-related deaths took place weeks earlier.

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The country recorded 100,000 deaths after 16 weeks of the first reported fatality, and it took another 17 weeks before the next 100,000 deaths were recorded, according to the health data.

As the disease became widespread the number of deaths increased rapidly -- it took 10 weeks for the death toll to jump from 300,000 to 500,000, an average of 2,899 deaths a day, according to health data.

By comparison, 2,996, people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

PHOTO: A nurse supports a patient as they walk in the Covid-19 alternative care site, built into a parking garage, at Renown Regional Medical Center, Dec. 16, 2020, in Reno, Nevada. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: A nurse supports a patient as they walk in the Covid-19 alternative care site, built into a parking garage, at Renown Regional Medical Center, Dec. 16, 2020, in Reno, Nevada. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)

Health experts have urged people to continue to heed health warnings by social distancing, wearing masks and getting a coronavirus vaccine as soon as they are eligible.

As of Sunday, there have been over 64 million COVID-19 doses administered in the U.S., and 19.4 million Americans have received two doses, according to the CDC.

ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.

US crosses new COVID-19 milestone: Half a million Americans dead originally appeared on abcnews.go.com