Coronavirus: US death toll tops 200,000

More than 200,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The nation leads the world in the number of deaths and illnesses related to the viral infection.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. topped 200,000 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday morning.

Speaking earlier in the day at the CITIZEN by CNN Conference, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said focus should be on lowering the baseline of 35,000-40,000 new COVID-19 cases each day.

“We’ve got to keep that slope coming down,” Fauci said. “The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering and, in some respects, stunning.”

The development comes as several states, including Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Arkansas, deal with coronavirus cases rising at a level that indicates “unchecked community spread,” according to NPR. Only one state, Vermont, appeared to be “close to containment,” NPR reported Tuesday morning. Data compiled by the public radio network showed, however, that several states, including Ohio and South Carolina, have been seeing improved coronavirus case numbers in recent days.

“If you look at our country, there are some areas that are doing quite well,” Fauci said Tuesday, according to CNN. “It isn’t a situation where everything seems to be spiking and going the wrong direction.”

In a forecast of COVID-19 deaths released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said they expect that between 207,000 and 218,000 deaths related to coronavirus will be reported by the week ending Oct. 10.

The next highest death toll related to COVID-19 has been reported in Brazil, where more than 137,000 people have died of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins.

The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases with more than 6.8 million infections reported since the start of the pandemic, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins.

As of Tuesday, more than 31.3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, and more than 965,000 people have died of the viral infection, according to Johns Hopkins.