Coronavirus Watch

Coronavirus Deaths Surpasses 1918 Flu Pandemic

According a Washington Post tracker, more than 675,000 U.S. deaths associated with the coronavirus have been reported since Feb. 29, 2020, as of As of Monday Sept 20.

“That’s roughly how many died of influenza in the United States between 1918 and 1919 — along with more than 49 million people globally in the ‘deadliest pandemic of the 20th century‘. (Coronavirus has killed nearly 4.7 million globally)” according to the to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), writes Washington Post.

The Post’s Aaron Blake explains this grim milestone with some context. “The U.S. population is more than three times larger than it was roughly a century ago: While in 1918, 675,000 deaths represented about 1 in 150 Americans, it’s currently 1 in 500.”

Despite all the scientific and medical advances of the past 103 years, the Covid-19 pandemic has now killed more Americans than the 1918 flu pandemic did.

CNN Health

Dr. Stephen Kissler, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN “If you would have talked to me in 2019, I would have said I’d be surprised. But if you talked to me in probably April or May 2020, I would say I would not be surprised we’d hit this point.”

CNN Health’s Holly Yan article looks at some of the key differences and similarities between the 1918 pandemic flu and Covid-19.

In the Financial Times, Jamie Smyth and Christine Zhang write “The grim milestone coincides with a new wave of severe illness and hospitalisations among largely unvaccinated people in southern and mid-western US states. This has driven the seven-day rolling average of daily Covid deaths to about 1,900 — levels not seen since last winter’s deadly surge.”

Dr Ali Mokdad, professor of global health at University of Washington told FT “Controlling the pandemic depends on two factors: the leadership provided by government and public behaviour. On both fronts the US has done poorly compared to other countries.”

“The mortality rate was higher during the 1918 flu pandemic, given the US population was less than a third of its current size of 328m. But the rising death toll from Covid, which the institute forecasts will surpass 775,000 by January 1, is still shocking given the better standards of hygiene and medical care available today” Dr. Mokdad added.

If people saw our leaders unanimously promoting masks and vaccines and having a unified message then that would have a stronger impact than every state and city doing its own thing.

Dr Jennifer Caputo-Seidler (source: Financial Times)

Dr Jennifer Caputo-Seidler, a doctor working at Tampa General Hospital in Florida, told FT “stronger leadership was required to turn the tide against Covid. Some unvaccinated patients hold religious or other personal beliefs against vaccines, but others were just confused by all the mixed messages”.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of September 21, 9 a.m.) 467,249,715 doses have been distributed and 386,780,816 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of September 19) a total of 6,357,428 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of September 21) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 690,391 (out of 12,147,772 tested) with 8,011 deaths.