The Rapid Increase of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths in One Chilling Graphic

In the U.S., COVID-19 has killed 12,900 and counting. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

On the last day of February, a Washington man in his 50s became the first person in the U.S. to die from a confirmed case of COVID-19. On April 14, roughly 2,407 people were reported to have died from the respiratory disease, which has now infected more than 679,000 Americans and killed 34,180 and counting.

In the time between February 29 and April 14, the illness has worked its way up the list of daily causes of deaths in the United States. On April 7, it took the top spot and in the subsequent week, it cemented that status. An animated visualization of COVID-19’s ascent up that list shows just how deadly it is, compared with common conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and lung disease.

The animation compares the daily death count of COVID-19, as tracked by, to 2018 data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The organization’s numbers show that heart disease and cancer were by far the biggest killers in the U.S. in 2018, with 647,457 and 599,108 deaths, respectively. Extrapolating those totals to a daily number show 1,774 daily deaths from heat disease and 1,641 from cancer.

The Rapid Increase of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths in One Graphic