1 million U.S. COVID deaths 'a real underestimate’

President Biden reflected today on the sobering U.S. milestone of 1 million COVID-19 deaths. The CDC's official count has the U.S. on the cusp of that total, but UW Medicine infectious diseases physician Dr. John Lynch thinks the novel coronavirus’ true toll is much higher.

“That 1 million count, as large as it is, is a real underestimate of the number of people have died due to COVID-19,” said Lynch, the medical director for infection prevention at Harborview Medical Center.

“We have to think about (what’s) behind those 1 million deaths — all of the people who have lost someone, and the impacts on their families, the children of lost parents, the parents of lost children and other family members, as well as those who continue to struggle with the aftereffects of COVID,” he said.

COVID-19 continues to spread throughout western Washington. The daily volume of inpatients at UW Medicine hospitals, at 31 on May 12, has risen recently.

“Two weeks ago, I was really talking about a range between 15 and 20,” Lynch said.

“Focus on keeping yourself safe and keeping your community safe. That includes your family, your friends, your colleagues as well as your loved ones,” said Lynch. “Wear a mask in an indoor space near other people. Get vaccinated and get boosted. If you're sick, get tested. And for those of you who need to get treated, make sure you get to that as soon as possible.”

Download broadcast-ready video and audio soundbites with Lynch on current COVID-19 trends in the Puget Sound region.

UW Medicine