Thursday marked a grim milestone in North Carolina’s fight against COVID-19 as the state’s fatalities reached just shy of 3,000 people.

As of Thursday, 2,990 people have died from the virus in North Carolina alone. That is more than the number of people killed in Pearl Harbor (2,403) or 9/11 (2,977). 

Nationally, the United States is nearing 200,000 deaths from the virus with a vaccine unlikely until 2021. 

The report comes the week journalist Bob Woodward revealed President Donald Trump was well aware of the deadliness of the disease way back in February when he was still publicly downplaying the looming crisis. Woodward, of course, sat on this crucial information until it could kick up publicity for his second book on the Trump White House, Rage. 

Trump’s exact quote was “This is deadly stuff,” on February 7.  This was, of course, while he was telling the American people the virus would probably just “disappear.” And in March he wasn’t shy admitting to Woodward in a recorded conversation he downplayed the virus and was continuing to do so. 

So far North Carolina has reported more than 180,000 cases of the virus and 928 people remain hospitalized with it. There are currently more than 350 outbreaks in congregate living settings throughout the state, nearly 200 of which are in nursing homes. Forty-one outbreaks have been reported in the state’s prisons and, as reported by WUNC, more than 120 cases were reported Thursday at Alamance County Detention Center, the state’s only jail allowed to hold immigrants detained by ICE.  

Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen is expected to give a briefing on the state’s coronavirus statistics this afternoon.

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