At least one person in the United States has died every 80 seconds on average over the last seven days, according to new research, as President Donald Trump said the nation’s soaring death toll “is what it is” in a recent interview.
The grim figures were first reported by NBC News on Wednesday, which noted its own tally revealed 7,486 people died in the last seven days due to Covid-19.
That tracked with other data surrounding the coronavirus pandemic published daily by Johns Hopkins University, which showed more than 158,000 total deaths nationwide associated with the novel virus.
Whereas the rate of deaths was somewhat slower in July, with one American dying every 102 seconds on average throughout the month, the latest figures appeared to show an acceleration in pace, as NBC News reported.
Meanwhile, the president has shrugged off the reemergence of Covid-19 in many states across the country, once again insisting the virus would disappear – a claim he has made without evidence since the start of the pandemic – while demanding schools reopen for classes during the autumn.
Axios’ Jonathan Swain pressed the president on the issue in an interview the news outlet released earlier this week, in which the journalist told the president: “A thousand Americans are dying a day.”
“They are dying. That’s true,” Mr Trump replied. “It is what it is.”
“But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can,” he added. “It’s under control as much as you can control it.”
However, Americans largely disagree with the president on his defence of the US response to the pandemic. In a survey published by NPR/Ipsos on Tuesday, two-thirds of respondents said they believed the US was handling the pandemic worse than other countries.
A majority of those surveyed also supported more aggressive measures to battle the rise of infections.
The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has projected the death toll to reach 173,000 by 22 August, which would essentially equate to nearly 1,000 deaths every single day for an entire month.