The United States has surpassed 1,000 deaths from the global coronavirus pandemic, becoming the sixth country to do so, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. now has 68,572 confirmed cases and 1,031 deaths to date from COVID-19 patients, a confirmed-case death rate of 1.5%.
It has been feared the World Health Organization (WHO) might ultimately declare the U.S. the epicenter for the pandemic in the coming days or weeks, but death counts in Italy and Spain are still the most devastating.
Italy now has almost 75,000 confirmed cases and over 7,503 deaths after 683 more have died from complications from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Spain has had almost as many in the past day (656) and now has almost 50,000 confirmed cases and a total of 3,647 deaths.
China (3,287), Iran (2,077), and France (1,333) have also confirmed more than 1,000 deaths to the novel coronavirus.
Globally, there are almost 469,000 confirmed cases and 21,200 deaths, according to Worldometer, which uses John Hopkins data and other media reports. That is a global confirmed-case death rate of 4.5%. Before the high rate of deaths in Europe, the WHO had estimated the death rate from coronavirus would be around 3.4%.
President Donald Trump had been derided by American media and critics when he suggested, from U.S. health experts estimations, the U.S. death rate would be closer to 1%.
A report last week by the CDC found no coronavirus deaths in the U.S. among people aged 19 years and under.
And, now, Los Angeles County officials say they no longer are including a 17-year-old boy in the tally of coronavirus deaths until they do more to determine his precise cause of death.
The county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said Wednesday she has asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the death of the youth from the desert city of Lancaster.
She said, while the child did test positive for the coronavirus, there were “extenuating circumstances that pointed to an alternative diagnosis as well.”
The death is no longer being counted among L.A. County’s 13 total fatalities from the virus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom chided county officials, calling the backtrack a reminder, “in this moment it’s not just speed, it’s accuracy that must be front and center.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.