COVID-19 Killed More Than 3,000 Americans on Wednesday, Surpassing 9/11’s Death Toll in a Single Day

healthcare worker at a testing site as COVID-19 death tolls rise

In this Dec. 9, 2020, file photo, test specialist Lester Gopar works at a COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles. As officials met to discuss approval of a COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Dec. 10, the number of coronavirus deaths has grown bleaker than ever. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

By Keya Vakil

December 10, 2020

More than 106,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and 221,267 new cases were reported on Wednesday. The numbers, including the death toll, are expected to rise.

The United States recorded 3,124 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, setting a grim single-day record for fatalities during the pandemic and marking what some are calling one of the deadliest days in American history.

Wednesday’s death toll exceeds those from both the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the attack on Pearl Harbor. While those two events dramatically transformed American life and altered the course of history, Wednesday’s death toll was largely met with a shrug from the federal government.

“Today was just a Wednesday,” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said on Wednesday evening, grimly pointing out the lack of recognition of the death toll. “We are watching a lack of action by the federal leadership of this country that feels almost criminal. It is depraved indifference at a level I cannot quite articulate.”

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The nation also reported 221,267 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases during the pandemic to 15.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 106,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project, an 80% increase month-over-month. 

That number that is expected to rise as the post-Thanksgiving surge continues to build. Deaths will continue to rise too, as hospitals across the country reach capacity, forcing them to ration care. 

While state and local governments are trying desperately to institute public health guidelines and restrictions to stem the surge, the Trump administration has been all but absent. The President has instead continued to focus on his month-long attempt to subvert the will of American voters and overturn the election results. As Trump and his Republican allies have waged war on democracy, they’ve failed to address the pandemic, which has killed nearly 60,000 Americans since Election Day.

Nearly 290,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the US since the pandemic began in the spring and that number could reach as high as 362,000 by Jan. 2, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That would equate to more than 70,000 additional deaths over the next 23 days—more than two per minute. 

READ MORE: ‘Blood on Their Hands’: Americans Who Lost Loved Ones to COVID-19 Blast Government Response


  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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