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Covid-19 Deaths Top 1 Million Worldwide

Milestone comes as flu season begins to get underway in the northern hemisphere.
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The global death toll from Covid-19 topped 1 million Monday evening, eight months after the disease first came to widespread attention following its outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center reported the grim milestone on its web site.

The United States has reported 205,000 deaths, more than 20% of the worldwide total, despite having less than 5% of the world’s population and what had been touted as the most advanced medical system in the world.

Brazil is second on the list, with 142,000 deaths, or 14% of the global total, despite having less than 3% of the world’s population.

India is third on the list of countries with the most deaths. It has suffered 9.6% of the fatal cases, with a population that accounts for 17% of the world’s total. Mexico is fourth with 7.6% of the fatal cases and 1.6% of the world’s population. The United Kingdom rounds out the top five, with 4.2% of the fatalities, and 0.8% of the world’s population.

U.S. President Donald Trump told journalist and author Bob Woodward in an interview for a book that he deliberately sought to downplay the virus when it first appeared. In February, Trump publicly denied the seriousness of the disease, calling it a “hoax,” he later claimed it would go away on its own, and then only reluctantly imposed a short-lived shutdown in April, before quickly urging that the economy re-open no matter the health risks.

Trump has derided the use of face masks to slow the spread of the disease and sparred with health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes for Health over the need for shutdowns. Last week, he refused to comment when asked his response to the U.S. topping 200,000 deaths, a number he once said would be the measure of whether the U.S. was doing a good job against the virus.

Like Trump in the U.S., Brazil and the UK are headed by right-wing populists who have sought to ignore or minimize the risks posed by the disease.

By failing to act quickly to slow the disease, the U.S. has been saddled with extended economic shutdowns that have devastated much of the economy, throwing tens of millions of Americans out of work. 

Congress approved unemployment supplements in the spring as well as one-time checks to most Americans. But with few signs of progress on Congressional negotiations over additional stimulus the U.S. appears poised to see economic woes surge just as Covid caseloads are rising again with the fall flu season getting underway.