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The ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. has already proven to be deadly, claiming more than 60,000 deaths as of Thursday. But as the death toll continues to rise, the likelihood that the novel coronavirus could prove deadlier than any flu outbreak in the U.S. since the late 1960s is increasing alongside it.
Already, the coronavirus death toll is inching closer to that of the 2017-2018 flu season, which killed more than 61,000 Americans, the worst flu season in recent years.
But according to a recent Reuters tally, the coronavirus outbreak could be deadlier than the 1967 flu season, which claimed roughly 100,000 lives in the U.S. Only deadlier was the flu season of 1957, which killed about 116,000 people, according to the outlet, and the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which claimed some 675,000 lives across the country.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus deaths, with a daily average of 2,000 fatalities in April, Reuters reported, citing the tally. And more than 72,000 COVID-19 deaths are projected by August 4, according to the University of Washington's predictive model.
The Reuters tally comes after an expert told Fox News in March that the coronavirus outbreak could at best be “10 times worse than a bad flu season.”
“At worst, it could result in a pandemic that claims the lives of millions of Americans,” said Dr. Linda Lee, chief medical affairs and science officer at UV Angel, at the time.
Separately, the coronavirus death toll this week surpassed the number of U.S. military deaths during the Vietnam War, which killed an estimated 58,220 American troops.
Fox News's Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.