U.S. passes Italy, now leads world in most confirmed coronavirus deaths

The U.S. toll is now 19,424, with nearly half a million confirmed cases, surpassing Italy’s total of 18,849. Italy has 147,577 infected with the virus.

Despite the country’s large elderly population, experts had previously forecast that Italy’s staggering toll wasn’t an outlier so much as a preview of what other countries could expect. The steady climb of cases has slowed, and the Mediterranean country is now preparing to reopen.

Friday marked the highest single-day total yet with at least 2,056 people reported dead from complications related to covid-19 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a Washington Post tally. The virus claimed about 1,900 lives in the United States each of the past three days.