Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A medical staff member closes the zipper of a body bag that contains a deceased Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 25, 2020 in Houston. (Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

A medical staff member closes the zipper of a body bag that contains a deceased Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 25, 2020 in Houston. (Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

'It Never Had to Be Like This': 300,000 Dead in US From Covid-19 Under Donald J. Trump

"It is equal to a 9/11 attack every day for more than 100 days."

Kenny Stancil

On the same day the first American received a coronavirus vaccine, the U.S. pandemic death toll surpassed 300,000 on Monday, another grim milestone that comes less than four weeks after the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country reached 250,000.

The Associated Press put the staggering statistics into context: "The number of dead rivals the population of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. It is equivalent to repeating a tragedy on the scale of Hurricane Katrina every day for 5 1/2 months. It is more than five times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. It is equal to a 9/11 attack every day for more than 100 days."

At the same time, Brian Walter, who lost his 80-year old father to the disease, told NPR that "the numbers do not reflect that these were people. Everyone lost was a father or a mother, they had kids, they had family, they left people behind."

According to the Covid-19 Tracking Project, the U.S. is now averaging nearly 2,430 deaths per day.

Jennifer Nuzzo, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins University, told AP that "to think now we can just absorb in our country 3,000 deaths a day as though it were just business as usual, it just represents a moral failing."

Despite constituting just over 4% of the global population, the U.S. is home to nearly 19% of the more than 1.6 million Covid-19 deaths that have occurred worldwide. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the American population was called "a catastrophic failure" of leadership to be blamed on President Donald Trump, who baselessly claimed in February that the virus was on the verge of disappearing. 

"There's no need for that many to have died," David Hayes-Bautista, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, told the New York Times. "We chose, as a country, to take our foot off the gas pedal. We chose to, and that's the tragedy."

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, progressives have argued that the catastrophic handling of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.—while made worse by Trump and non-cooperative individuals—is better understood as the product of several decades of "free-market" ideology and associated policies that exacerbated inequalities and hampered an effective governmental response to the disaster as it unfolded. 

Although Monday's coronavirus vaccine rollout represents good news in the fight against the pandemic, physician and public health expert Ashish Jha of Brown University lamented that the worst is yet to come. As a result of "infections that have already happened or will this week... we will pass 400,000 deaths... in January."

He said that "vaccines will help," but if we are serious about meeting the challenge of preventing the Covid-19 death toll from reaching 500,000, "we can [and] must do more" to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

"Actions taken collectively can really change the course of what is happening," Nicholas Reich, a biostatistician at the University of Massachusetts, told the Times. "One reason this is hard to predict is to some extent the power is in our hands."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Amid Existential Threat to Reproductive Rights, Congress Urged to Act

"It's the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and if we don't fight like hell it could very well be the last," said one campaigner, who called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

Brett Wilkins ·


Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo