The official global death toll hits another grim milestone.

The official worldwide death toll has surpassed 4,000,000. According to Worldometer, which has been OTB’s source for numbers during the pandemic, the number is at 4,029,248. Johns Hopkins dashboard has the number at 4,012,856 (as of this writing).

The sad truth is that this is an undercount. It is impossible that everyone who has died from the disease was tested, especially considering that some countries lack the capacity to test and report consistently. Indeed, even countries with a well-developed healthcare system have not been able to engage in universal testing.

Worse, we are nowhere near done with this around the world. The seven-day rolling average for deaths due to Covid globally is over 7,000 and the trend line for cases is heading upward.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. KM says:

    4 million dead in a year – it boggles the mind. What’s even worse is contemplating the bullet we dodged.

    The vaccines truly are a miracle. We’d be double that by now with no signs of slowing in this country alone. Even at a 1% death rate, this thing should have killed 10s of millions of people worldwide. 78 million individuals could have been gone in a year or more but thanks to the miracle of science, we’re nowhere near it even in our worst case estimates.

  2. de stijl says:

    I was one of the people that got it. I was basically down for three weeks. It sucked.

    Flu like symptoms with body aches in the big bones. I slept through most of November and appreciated that because when awake it sorta sucked hard. I slept 18 hours in a row early in. I woke up discombobulated and thirsty and hungry. When awake I watched bad horror movies and occasionally ate pasta. Zero appetite but too few calories per day = crash out and possibly bad outcome.

    Most of you experienced November as a normal November. My November was experientially about a week long, achy, and me chugging water, bolting easy pasta meals, and voiding my GI tract, and then sleeping some more.

    If you wanna lose weight, my golly does it work!

    0 out of 5 stars. Would not recommend.

  3. Raoul says:

    If one looks at the excess deaths in this country, the total number of dead due to COVID is around one million individuals, making this pandemic the greatest catastrophe the United States has ever suffered. Other countries have suffered worst, Peru has a death rate four times the U.S. and the total dead in India is estimated to be between 4 million and 20 million.

  4. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: My brother got the China flu hoax, and reports that it was really pretty mild, probably because it is more like a cold than a flu, but it did aggravate his pre-existing conditions like blood clots, heart problems, no taste, no feeling in his feet and hands, tinnitus… Those pre-existing conditions really kicked this shit out of him, he lost a lot of weight and nearly died and still hasn’t recovered. “Other than the blood clots, it wasn’t bad. The hospital food really did a number on my digestion though…”

    My brother is an idiot.

    He also assured me that the numbers are made up, that anyone who goes to the hospital and tests positive will be counted as a covid death even if they die of something else. He’s positive, for instance that if he died from the blood clots, heart attack or sepsis, he would have been counted as a covid death.

    Did I mention that he’s an idiot?

    (But for being dropped on my head repeatedly as a child*, there go I)

    *: so many trips to the ER to get stitches after falling out of a tree, or bouncing on the bed and slipping and smacking his head against the radiator…

  5. de stijl says:


    You can lead idiots to water. If they drink or not is their concern, I did my part. A quick “thanks” would be appreciated btw.

    Don’t ding idiots too hard. I am often one. Your brother is willfully and obtusely blind which argues choice and consideration of possible consequences.

    I am legitimately sometimes an idiot. Your bro chose to be foolish. Big difference.

  6. Barry says:

    @Gustopher: “My brother got the China flu hoax”

    You mean the “Chinese biological attack on the USA which is no worse than the flu and Trump ‘kept us safe’ by believing what the government of China told him”?

  7. de stijl says:


    A friend left me goody bags every few days and sent a text. I left two sixers of the tiny cans of ginger ale, some Tang mix, and a bag of Cheetos on your doorstep.

    I inhaled that shit.

    She was a saint. Technically a sainte.

    I owe her the biggest fanciest feast this town can offer. But she’ll inevitably choose pho and spring rolls. I will buy her Vietnamese food itch until I die, I swear. She did me such an awesome favor then.

    Ginger ale when you feel like crap is god-sent treasure. I would slam a can. Burp. Fire up a bad movie and fall asleep 45 minutes in. L had my back.

  8. de stijl says:

    Do you why the 1918 outbreak is often referred to as the Spanish flu?

    Spain reported numbers of sick, and quarantined, and dead semi-accuratlely.

    No other major country did initially because of geo-politics. No one else dared to for strategic reasons even if it was very clear a new bug was raging hard internally. Spain reported true numbers so the world thought Spain was the epicenter.

    Roughly 50 million people died worldwide. A factor bigger than Covid 19.

    Another 1918 could happen tomorrow. Snap. Maybe worse.

  9. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Your friend is a good friend.

    And I’m hard on my brother because he is family, and I can see the resemblances way more than I want to.

  10. Kathy says:

    I’m ordering some more KN95 masks this weekend. It wouldn’t do to add to a dreadful statistic.

  11. liberal capitalist says:

    4,000,000 is a big number.

    But at that point, it become a statistic, not so much an individual tragedy. So let’s consider this from a statistic perspective:

    As an sci-fi fan, I would actually think that a pandemic would (could?) be much worse. Like a billion deaths.

    So, if we look at it from that perspective, humanity dodged a bullet… but the planet did not.

    Everyone putting the brakes on for 6 months did improve air quality. for a bit, but that had passed.

    And at the individual level, I’m with @de stijl … last travel date was the second week of October 2019 (in the previous decade!) … right before the USA started taking this seriously.

    And I was one that likely caught it early on. and yes, weeks in bed.

    So if we would have lost a billion or two, I would have been one of those likely on the funeral pyres.

    That, and my empire of dirt.


    The funny thing, America already knows what a dramatic depopulation event would look like: We have Detroit.

    Detroit WAS a city of 2 million that became a city of 1 million thanks to economic racism.

    Still not recovered / repopulated. and it doesn’t revert to fields, it reverts to ruins.


    Don’t leave me stranded here
    I can’t get used to this lifestyle.

    (Nothing But) Flowers