The Coronavirus Crisis Has Now Killed More Than 100,000 People in the United States

Members of the Harris County Sheriff's Honor Guard fold a American flag over the casket of Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, who died earlier this month after contracting COVID-19. David J. Phillip/AP

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

The coronavirus has now killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The US death toll surpasses any other nation’s and marks a grim milestone in a crisis that has destroyed families, pushed nearly 40 million Americans out of work, revealed a federal government crippled by feeble leadership, and thrown daily life into chaos.

The new figures arrived as the virus continues to spread around the country and as Americans grapple with a confusing patchwork of state guidance for how and when simple activities can be enjoyed without fear. Meanwhile, experts say the real death count is likely much higher.

The story of the pandemic is far from being written in full, but there’s already no doubt that every part of American life has been touched by strife. Acute shortages of medical equipment and the federal government’s inept testing efforts hobbled the response from the beginning. (“Anyone who wants a test can get a test,” President Donald Trump lied in March.) States battled each other for resources. (“We’re not a shipping clerk,” the president said.) Disinformation campaigns deployed to support Trump turned happy talk about treatments (“What do you have to lose?”) and re-opening (“Easter Sunday, and you’ll have packed churches”) into a full-fledged culture war over social distancing and lockdown orders—complete with militiamen armed to the teeth. Trillions of dollars were pumped into relief legislation with limited public oversight. Algorithm-enabled conspiracy theories ran rampant. All the while, the eerie silence of a country brought to heel was punctuated by self-aggrandizing daily appearances by the president, and his never-ending stream of tweets—by turns complaining, bullying, distracting, and deflecting. People of color and frontline workers bore the brunt.

“No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump said, his presidency’s most indelible quote.

This weeks episode of the Mother Jones Podcast is dedicated to the enormous challenge of honoring 100,000 coronavirus victims in the United States, and what lessons art and history can teach us about collective grief:

For complete coverage of the pandemic, check out our coronavirus blog.

 

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate