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US deaths top 3 million in 2020, by far the most the nation has ever counted

Cordarial O. Holloway, Robert L. Albritten, Eddie Keith, Ronald Costello
Posted at 2:45 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 15:44:11-05

NEW YORK — The year 2020 will go down as the deadliest in U.S. history, with deaths topping 3 million for the first time.

It's due mainly to the coronavirus pandemic that has already killed more than 318,000 Americans and counting.

Final mortality data for this year will not be available for months. But preliminary data suggest that the nation is on track to see more than 3.2 million deaths this year, or at least 400,000 more than in 2019.

The increase would be about 15%, and possibly more. As a percentage increase, that would mark the largest single-year jump since 1918.

That year, The Associated Press found deaths rose 46% compared to 1917, largely due the thousands of soldiers who died in World War I and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died during the Spanish flu pandemic.