10/18 News Flash 9: COVID-19 Is Now the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

Graphic by Annie Lin.

COVID-19 has quickly become one of the leading causes of death in the US. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more Americans died between March and August this year than during that same time span in any of the last 20 years. COVID-19 deaths account for much of this increase, and deaths due to lack of medical care from overwhelmed hospitals also contributed.

During the week of March 30th, COVID-19 became the third largest cause of death in the US, topping all causes except for heart disease and cancer. This means that COVID-19 kills more Americans weekly than stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. During that week, almost 10,000 Americans died of COVID-19. The flu, which some have compared to COVID-19, caused 1,870 deaths during that same week. In mid-April, COVID-19 briefly became the leading cause of death in the US, but returned to third place during the week of May 4th.