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Covid now leading cause of death in U.S., researchers say
Covid-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States, researchers at the University of Washington said Friday.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said in a briefing that the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the last week, 11,820, "makes COVID-19 the No. 1 cause of death in the United States of America this week."
The virus topped the nation's perennial No. 1 killer, ischemic heart disease, which was said to be responsible for 10,724 deaths in the last week, according to the Washington team.
For the year, Covid-19 was projected to end up in second place, behind ischemic heart disease, researchers said. Tracheal, bronchus and lung cancer was in third place.
The institute said it estimates 15 percent of Americans have been infected. The United States recorded 2,802 virus-related deaths Thursday and 279,224 since the pandemic began, according to an NBC News tally.
"Our model projects 539,000 cumulative deaths on April 1, 2021," the briefing states. "Daily deaths will peak at 3,000 in mid-January."