Statement: COVID-19 deaths reach another grim milestone: 400,000

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG

Government should act to minimize deaths while Americans await vaccination


WASHINGTON  — The number of U.S. deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic surpassed 400,000 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 90,000 more people will die from COVID-19 in the next three weeks. 

In response, Matthew Wellington, U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns director, released the following statement:

“COVID-19 is raging across the country, bringing death and lasting trauma to hundreds of thousands of families. Almost as many Americans have died from this virus as were killed in World War II. 

“Many elected officials have failed to take responsibility and strong action to curb the spread of the virus. Instead, they’ve opted for half measures or for fully shifting responsibility to people in the community who are expected to take voluntary actions with little governmental support. The result: Deaths per 100,000 people in the United States from COVID-19 are nearly 50 times as many as those in South Korea. 

“Elected officials at the federal, state and local level need to work together to save lives now. Public health measures such as temporary shutdowns, mandatory mask wearing, and aggressive testing can buy us time while we mobilize all of our ingenuity and resources to rapidly vaccinate broad swaths of the public.

“COVID-19 will kill more Americans, but it’s in our control to make sure it takes as few lives as possible.”