The United States has quickly become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 2,500 Americans have lost their lives due to the illness since the pandemic broke out, according to Johns Hopkins University. There are more than 143,000 cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. as of Sunday night, more than China or Italy.

Simply by virtue of its size — the U.S. has 8.7 times as many people as Canada — the country was all but destined to have many more cases than Canada.

But the outbreak has gone far beyond that.

COVID-19 has brought the hardest-hit state of New York to a standstill. More than 1,000 people have died. Despite having a little over half the Canadian population, New York has more than 59,500 cases.

Story continues below advertisement

That’s more than nine times as many as Canada, which has about 7,405 confirmed cases, including 74 deaths.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said worst-case scenario projections show New York would require 140,000 hospital beds and 30,000 ventilators in order to handle the peak of the outbreak.

1:33Coronavirus outbreak: Cuomo says deaths from COVID-19 in New York could be in the thousands

Coronavirus outbreak: Cuomo says deaths from COVID-19 in New York could be in the thousands

What went wrong in the U.S.

 » READ MORE FROM GLOBAL NEWS