US coronavirus death toll passes 100,000
WASHINGTON The United States has now recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, Johns Hopkins University reported on Wednesday - a sombre milestone and by far the highest total in the world.
The country reported its first death about three months ago.
In the three months, Covid-19 deaths exceeded the number of Americans killed in the Korean War, Vietnam War and the US conflict in Iraq from 2003-2011 - combined.
The coronavirus has also killed more people than the Aids (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) epidemic did from 1981 through 1989.
Nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide, according to the Baltimore-based school.
The actual number of deaths and infections is believed to be higher, experts say.
In the last 24 hours, the death toll was on the rise again, with 1,401 deaths added, after three straight days of tolls under 700.
The full death toll stood at 100,396.
The state of New York has seen nearly a third of all coronavirus-related deaths in the US.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a video message on Wednesday marking the grim milestone of 100,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic, telling the bereaved: "The nation grieves with you."
Mr Biden, speaking from his home in Delaware, drew on his own family's loss.
The former vice-president's first wife and infant daughter were killed in a road accident in 1972. His son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015, aged 46.
"There are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they're forever fixed in each of our hearts as shared grief. Today is one of those moments," Mr Biden said.
"To those hurting, I'm so sorry for your loss."
He added: "I think I know how you're feeling. You feel like you're being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. It's suffocating."
Despite the grim toll, most US states are now moving towards ending the strict stay-at-home measures that were implemented to curb the spread of the virus.
US President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in November, is eager to stem the economic pain of the lockdown, which has left tens of millions of Americans without jobs. - AFP, REUTERS