We may never know the exact toll of the pandemic

We may never know the exact toll of the pandemic


Funeral pyres burn for people who died of COVID-19 in India, on May 6. | Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images

This pandemic has taken millions of lives around the world — and researchers are realizing that the true death toll may be much higher than the official numbers we see every day.

As of May 3rd, the death toll in the US officially stood at 574,043, but a new analysis published this week by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates that the actual toll is 905,289. IHME is a health research center based at the University of Washington that specializes in measuring global health on a population level. Its new analysis estimates that the global death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 6.93 million, not 3.24 million.

The key word here is “estimate.” The researchers looked at countries around the world that reported deaths…

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