US passes 100,000 Covid-19 deaths as country begins to reopen
American cases of coronavirus exceed 1.7 million as global number reaches 5.5 million
A commuter wears a protective mask in the Canal Street subway station in Chinatown neighborhood of New York, on Wednesday. Photograph: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg
US deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 100,000 on Wednesday even as the daily average death toll declines, businesses reopen and Americans emerge from lockdowns across the country.
About 1,400 Americans have died on average each day in May, down from the peak of the outbreak in April when 2,000 people a day died on average.
The US death toll is higher than fatalities from the seasonal flu going back to the 1957-1958 season, when 116,000 died. In about three months, Covid-19 deaths exceed the number of Americans killed in the Korean War, Vietnam War and the US conflict in Iraq from 2003-2011 combined.
The coronavirus has killed more people than the AIDS epidemic did from 1981 through 1989.
Total US coronavirus cases are over 1.7 million with some southern states seeing new cases rising in the past week, according to a Reuters analysis of data from The Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
Globally, coronavirus cases have topped 5.6 million with over 350,000 deaths since the outbreak began in China late last year and then arrived in Europe and the United States. South America is now bearing the brunt of the outbreak, with Brazil having the second-highest number of cases in the world.
Of the top 20 most severely affected countries, the United States ranks eighth based on deaths per capita, according to a Reuters tally.