Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan has had the equivalent of seven 9/11s in COVID-19 deaths

By: - September 11, 2021 10:14 am

Detroit COVID-19 Healing Memorial, Aug. 31, 2021 | Ken Coleman

Michiganders across the state, including many elected officials from both parties, will on Saturday attend events mourning the almost 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The 20th anniversary of the attacks, which sparked the two-decade-long “War on Terror,” is also taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage in the United States and around the world.

The virus has killed 4.6 million people around the world and 658,865 Americans, per tracking compiled by the New York Times. In the United States, that’s the equivalent of the lives lost in 219 9/11 events.

In Michigan, 21,807 people have died, per the NYT, which uses state and local health data for its tracker. According to state Department of Health and Human Services data of confirmed deaths, Michigan has had 20,506 people die since March 2020. Either way, that’s the equivalent of about seven 9/11s.

Eight states have experienced far more COVID-19 deaths than Michigan. California leads the country in people who have died of COVID-19 with 67,062. That’s the equivalent of the lives lost in roughly 22 9/11 events.

Here’s a sobering look at other states with high COVID-19 death rates:

Texas: 59,905 COVID deaths, equivalent to about 20 9/11s

New York: 54,174 COVID deaths, equivalent to about 18 9/11s

Florida, 48,772 COVID deaths, equivalent to about 16 9/11s

Pennsylvania: 28,535 COVID deaths, equivalent to about 10 9/11s

New Jersey: 27,039 COVID deaths, equivalent to about nine 9/11s

Illinois: 26,845 COVID deaths, equivalent to about nine 9/11s

Georgia, 22,968 COVID deaths, equivalent to about eight 9/11s

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.