U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 100,000 milestone

May 27 (UPI) — The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States surpassed 100,000 people as of Wednesday afternoon.

The United States has the world’s highest death toll, with 100,271 connected to the virus and also has the greatest number of confirmed cases at 1,697,459, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University.

Public health officials reported the first coronavirus death in the United States on Feb. 6, a figure that rose to 1,000 before the end of March and 50,000 near the end of April.

New York, which leads the nation in both deaths and cases, reported 74 new coronavirus deaths Wednesday for a total of 23,643. The state’s daily death rate began to decline again after spiking slightly over the weekend. The state has also reported 364,965 positive coronavirus cases.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said the number of hospitalizations and intubations in the state continued to decline Wednesday.

“It’s rare that good things happen after an intubation. And the number of new cases is down, which is very encouraging news. These are the number of new cases that are walking through the door,” Cuomo said. “Again, only in this time of crisis would 74 deaths be anything less than truly tragic news. But when you have gone through what we have gone through, it’s a sign that we’re headed in the right direction.”

Nearby New Jersey has the second greatest number of deaths and cases in the country, reporting 148 new deaths for a death toll of 11,339, and 970 new positive cases for a total of 156,628.

Illinois has reported 5,083 coronavirus-related deaths and 114,306 cases, while California became the fourth state to report more than 100,000 positive cases on Wednesday with an average of 2,283 new cases over the last seven days. The state’s death toll exceeds 3,800.

The Navajo Nation, which is home to about 175,000 people across parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, has reported 4,842 positive cases of COVID-19 and 158 deaths related to the virus, surpassing New York for the highest per-capita infection rate earlier this month.

Data gathered by the state of Arizona showed that Native Americans accounted for 17 percent of deaths in the state.

Demographic statistics among the first 69,000 deaths in the United States shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that about twice as many males died than females, while 80 percent of the known fatalities were among people at least 65 years old.

African Americans have also been disproportionately affected by the virus as 44 percent of coronavirus-related deaths in the state were among African Americans despite making up fewer than 27 percent of the state’s population. Similarly, African Americans accounted for 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan while making up just 14 percent of the population.

The death toll comes as all 50 states have taken steps to begin reopening businesses and other activities following orders by individual states to shutter non-essential services in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Morning fog partially hides the Manhattan skyline on May 26. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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