By some estimates, between 100,000 and 240,000 people could die from a deadly pathogen.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. should be prepared for the number of lethal outcomes from COVID-19 coronavirus in the next two months to be 100-240 thousand, even if the Americans will continue to keep a distance from each other.
The White House Coronavirus Working Group estimates that deaths will peak in the next two to three weeks.
President Donald Trump warned the Americans on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the fight against the coronavirus will be “very difficult”.
He urged all Americans to follow the norms of social distance until the end of April. The President said this in a daily press briefing at the White House.
“I want all Americans to be prepared for the difficult days ahead. We are going to go through a very difficult two weeks,” Trump said, adding that he hopes the country will see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ after that.
“And then, hopefully, as experts predict, we will see real light at the end of the tunnel, but it will be a very painful two weeks,” the president warned.
“It’s very important for Americans to follow [federal] instructions on social distance over the next 30 days. It’s a matter of life and death,” said the President.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the White House working group, said that U.S. residents should be prepared for the potential victims of the coronavirus of up to 100 thousand Americans.
“As shocking as this figure may be, we must be prepared for it. Will there be so many [deaths]? I hope not, and I think the more we insist on mitigating [epidemiological measures], the more likely it is that this number will be reached. But let’s be realistic, we need to be prepared for what we will see,” Fauci said.
He specified that such a level of mortality is unacceptable and that the administration will “do everything possible to reduce” future mortality.
“There is no magic bullet,” said immunologist Deborah Birks, who coordinates the working group.
“There is no magic vaccine or therapy,” we can only talk about behaviors that can change the course of this viral pandemic.
Coronavirus has been diagnosed in more than 187,000 people in the United States. The total number of deaths from the disease exceeded 3,800 (about a quarter of them in New York), exceeding China, as well as the number of deaths directly during the attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001.
The governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo said that the peak of the fight against coronavirus will come in 7-21 days. At a daily press briefing, most of which was broadcast live on three major cable news channels, Cuomo reiterated his disappointment with the supply of vital materials for the intensive care units. He announced that New York City had placed an order for 17,000 ventilators in China, each worth $25,000.
In recent days, the president has taken a darker tone about the total number of casualties that could be caused by the coronavirus in the United States. Previously, he had swept away the disease, saying it was as bad as the annual waves of flu. “The treatment should not be worse than the disease,” he said, allowing now extended restrictions to be eased to reduce economic damage.
While the president used to be willing to listen to some of his economic team members who advocated easing the restrictions on social distance, now, following health officials and members of his campaign headquarters, he is issuing grim warnings.
This week he began talking about a worst-case scenario in which more than two million Americans would die of the virus if people returned to work and study too early.
Trump also proposed a $2.2 trillion phase 4 aid law on Tuesday (Phase 3 had a similar value), but this time the bill will focus exclusively on jobs and rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.
“We have a strong dollar. People want to invest in the US,” Trump said, adding that “now would be a good time to borrow money at a zero interest rate” to finance repairs of roads, tunnels and bridges.