Corona Chronicles: U.S. Projects 100,000 to 240,000 Deaths

U.S. projects 100,000 to 240,000 Deaths

Between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans are projected to die from the virus, even if current social distancing measures are maintained, as fatalities peak over the next two weeks, White House officials confirmed at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The figure was lower than the original projection of 1.5 million to 2.2 million deaths in the U.S., which would be the case if no mitigation measures were taken, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and medical expert on the COVID-19 virus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is also a member of the COVID-19 task force, said: “As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it.”

“We have to brace ourselves. In the next several days to a week or so we are going to continue to see things go up. We can not be discouraged by that because the mitigation is actually working and will work,” he noted at the press briefing.

Birx stressed the critical role social distancing practices will play especially in states where cases have yet to spike as they have in New York.

Fauci added: “This is a number that we need to anticipate, but we don’t necessarily have to accept it as being inevitable,” and urged Americans to step up their mitigation efforts.

“This is going to be one of the roughest two or three weeks we’ve ever had in our country,” Trump said at the briefing. “I wanted as few as a number of people to die as possible. And that’s all we’re working on.”

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S.

a close up of a map: This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by state. This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by state.