The 200th died on March 19. The 400th died on March 22 — on Sunday. The 500th died on March 23. The 600th died the next day, Tuesday. So did the 700th. The 800th and 900th died Wednesday. The 1,000th died Thursday.
As of writing, the total number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States is nearing 1,100 — about 5 percent of all cases in the world. As the data suggest, the number is expected to continue to climb.
The increased death toll in the United States occurred in parallel with (and obviously contributed to) a surge in the number of coronavirus deaths globally over the past several weeks.
That surge is mostly a function of the rapid increase in the death tolls in Italy and Spain. Italy has seen more than twice as many victims of the disease as China, the country where the outbreak began.
The number of deaths in China — at least, reported deaths — has flattened. Nearly all of the increase this month has been a function of growth in the rest of the world, particularly Italy.
Looking at it another way, while China accounted for all of the deaths from the virus late last month, it accounts for only about 15 percent of them now. A third of all of the reported deaths that have been linked to the virus have happened in Italy. (Iran is probably underreporting the number of deaths it has seen. Two weeks ago, The Washington Post reported that the country was digging mass graves.)
Compared with the global total, that sliver of yellow, representing the deaths in the United States, remains fairly small. But it does constitute one out of every 20 deaths from the coronavirus that have been reported.
What has been concerning is that the rate at which the number of deaths has changed day-to-day has been increasing in the United States even as it is declining in Italy and Spain, the two countries with the most reported deaths. The number of deaths in those countries is still rising, but at a slower pace. The pace of new deaths in the United States has been rising. (The downturn in the most recent figure for the United States is a function of incomplete totals for Thursday.)
(We demarcated the point at which each country saw its 100th death because the percentages are more volatile with lower totals.)
Part of the reason that the number in Italy is slowing is that it implemented broad social distancing measures several weeks ago. Those measures take a few weeks to be reflected in the data, given the incubation period of the virus. That means that we may see the figure in the United States soon stabilize, thanks to the measures that were implemented over the past week or two here, as well.
The concern is that that stabilization will occur only after a rise similar to what Italy has seen over the past three weeks.