The coronavirus pandemic has been responsible for more police officer deaths in the line of duty than any other cause combined in 2020, according to a nonprofit dedicated to fallen police officers.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 101 police officers across the country have died after contracting COVID-19 while on the job. Eighty-two other police officers have been killed by other causes in the line of duty in 2020.
A second nonprofit, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), lists around 110 officer deaths linked to COVID-19.
Both Officer Down and NLEOMF only count officers who were known to contract the virus while in the line of duty and review each case before adding it to their count. Officer Down says it is reviewing an additional 150 fatal cases of COVID-19 that may be added to the count in the future.
"By the end of this pandemic, it is very likely that COVID will surpass 9/11 as the single largest incident cause of death for law enforcement officers," Officer Down executive director Chris Cosgriff told The Washington Post.
Officer Down reports that 73 police officers died on Sept. 11, 2001 in the terrorist attacks, and more than 300 have died of cancer linked to recovery efforts in the years since.
According to NLEOMF, the state with the most police officer deaths linked to COVID-19 is Texas, where 24 officers have died since the pandemic began. Another 12 police have died after contracting the virus in nearby Louisiana.
Officer Down also reports that non-coronavirus related police officer deaths in the line of duty are down in 2020, despite widespread civil unrest. Thirty-one police have died from gunfire this year, the second-leading cause of death among officers in the line of duty. Another four officers have died as a result of "inadvertent" gunfire.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly pushed the narrative that police officers across the country are under "assault" by left-wing activists throughout the 2020 presidential campaign.
Earlier this year, Trump signed the Safeguarding America's First Responders Act of 2020, which offers federal benefits to the families of police officers killed by COVID-19.