COVID-19 is currently the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., eight months after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.
The coronavirus is behind only heart disease and cancer among causes of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“COVID is now the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. — ahead of accidents, injuries, lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many, many other causes,” Thomas Frieden, former director of the CDC, told CNN on Monday.
The U.S. has confirmed more than 5.4 million cases of COVID-19, leading to at least 170,434 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The country has been recording an average of more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths per day over the past three weeks, according to New York Times data.
Frieden also told CNN that the rate of death in the U.S. is higher than in several other countries. Last week, Americans were eight times more likely than Europeans to die from the coronavirus.
The news comes as testing has fallen by about an average of 68,000 per day, the COVID Tracking Project has found, and 15 states conducted fewer tests this week than last week.
But more than 30 states still have test positivity rates of more than 5 percent, the World Health Organization’s recommended rate before economic reopenings.