American COVID-19 death toll surpasses US troop deaths in World War I

Abbie Bennett
June 18, 2020 - 12:49 pm

Larryl Pitts

More Americans have now died of the coronavirus than died serving in World War I. 

In the two years the United States fought in WWI, more than 116,500 service members died. The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed nearly 118,000. 

As of Thursday afternoon, at least 117,832 Americans had died because of the virus, according to counts kept by Johns Hopkins University.

About 26 percent of the world's COVID-19 deaths have happened in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded more than 2.1 million cases of the virus in the United States this week. 

America's deadliest event in history is still the Civil War, where the death toll is estimated at about 750,000 for both Union and Confederate troops. 

In World War II, the United States lost more than 405,000 service members. Of those, about 292,000 were combat deaths. 

In the Vietnam War, the National Archives estimates American troop deaths at about 58,220, including about 41,000 killed in action. 

During the Korean War, about 36,574 service members died, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon. 

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to more than 6,858 service member and Defense Department deaths so far, according to counts compiled by the Pentagon.

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Reach Abbie Bennett: abbie@connectingvets.com or @AbbieRBennett.

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