COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the rebels did during the Civil War

The U.S. death toll was closing in on 150,000, according to the latest NBC News tally.
Image: Louisiana Pulls Back On Reopening Economy As Coronavirus Hospitalizations Rise
Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans this month.Sean Gardner / Getty Images file

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By Joe Murphy and Corky Siemaszko

More Americans have died of COVID-19 than Union soldiers were killed on the battlefield during the Civil War. It’s a sobering statistic that comes at a time when Confederate statues are being toppled across the country.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus was 147,828 and rising as of Monday morning, according to the latest NBC News tally.

By contrast, 140,414 Union soldiers fell while fighting rebel forces led by Confederate generals like Stonewall Jackson and racist politicians like Jefferson Davis. Their effigies are now being evicted from the public square as part of the nationwide wave of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who perished in May beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.

The Confederate side lost 74,524 men on the battlefield, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

In other developments:

  • President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for COVID-19. The White House insisted there was no risk to the president or Vice President Mike Pence. But several other White House staffers have contracted the coronavirus, including Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller, and several of the Trump campaign staffers who arranged his “underwhelming” June rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Two Major League Baseball games scheduled for Monday were canceled because of the coronavirus: The Philadelphia Phillies’ home opener versus the New York Yankees. and the Miami Marlins’ home opener against the Baltimore Orioles. The games were called off after a dozen Marlins players and two Marlins coachestested positive for COVID-19 after a three-game stand in Philadelphia, ESPN and other media reported.
  • Two states set single day records Sunday for the number of new cases reported: Louisiana with 3,952, and Oklahoma with 1,204, NBC News figures show. Puerto Rico also reported a record 693 new cases on Sunday.
  • Texas, which has seen an explosion of new cases in recent weeks, became the latest state to report more than 5,000 deaths since the pandemic began, NBC News has confirmed. The state had 5,092 as of Monday morning, well below the 33,447 coronavirus fatalities reported in New York state. Though New York's number remains a high-water mark, most of the deaths came at the start of the pandemic when the nation was still struggling to find a strategy for countering the virus. By contrast, most of Texas’ deaths have been reported in recent weeks, after Gov. Greg Abbott began reopening the state even as the number of new cases was climbing. It wasn’t until three weeks ago that Abbott, a Republican and Trump ally, issued a mandate requiring Texans to wear masks while in public places.

Texas now has 395,242 confirmed cases, which puts the state on track to eclipse New York's total numberof new infections, the NBC News figures show.

New York has 417,894 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic as of Monday morning. California now has the most cases in the nation, with 459,576, and Florida is a close second with 423,855.

The U.S. surpassed 4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with the biggest surge in the number of new infections reported in the South and the Sun Belt.