The USA reached a grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus Monday: More than 10,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the nation.
That total surpasses the number of battle deaths from six U.S. wars combined, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA data says a total of 9,961 soldiers died on the battlefield during these six wars: The American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American Warand Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The data does not include other deaths related to the wars.
U.S. officials have repeatedly likened the coronavirus outbreak to a military struggle, and members of the armed forces have joined in various efforts to help stop the virus’ spread.
The USNS Comfort naval hospital ship was sent to Manhattan to help increase the city’s medical capacity. Members of the National Guard and medical military personnel have been deployed to help hard-hit areas.
There were 10,986 deaths as of early Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard, which tracks the numbers.
Over the weekend, officials warned the coming days would be a major crossroads in efforts to contain the virus.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that this week could be the nation’s “hardest and saddest” thus far. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized,” Adams said.