The coronavirus pandemic is now the third leading cause of death in the US, behind only heart disease and cancer, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
COVID-19 has continued to spread around the world, and has now infected over 22 million people globally, with over 780,000 fatalities. In the US, the worst hit country, nearly 5.5 million have been infected, with over 171,000 deaths.
“COVID is now the No. 3 cause of death in the US — ahead of accidents, injuries, lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and many, many other causes,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, a former director at the CDC, told US-based news organization CNN on Monday.
While the US has the highest number of infections, it also has a much higher death rate than other countries, Frieden explained.
“Last week, Americans were eight times more likely to get killed by COVID than were Europeans,” he said.
In the past three weeks, the US has averaged around 1,000 COVID-19 deaths every day, CNN reported.
The news comes as the country gears itself up for the 2020 US elections. Both Democrats and Republicans are trying to whip up support for their respective candidates ahead of the vote in November.
The Democrat National Convention is currently underway which will see former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris formally accept to the Democrat nomination for President and Vice President respectively.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would formally accept the Republican nomination for a second term next week.
Both parties have been forced to overhaul their convention plans, with the coronavirus pandemic precluding large, in-person events.