The White House coronavirus task force anticipates the U.S. will suffer 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the disease before the pandemic ends.
Task force members Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci made the sobering announcement at a White House press briefing Tuesday. Birx referenced a graphic showing the U.S. could still be suffering deaths by June, though both she and Fauci stressed that the U.S. can bring down the death toll by following distancing rules. (RELATED: Ted Cruz To Stay Home In Texas For One Week After Saying He Met Person With Coronavirus At CPAC)
“This is a projection, and it’s a projection based on using very much what has happened in Italy and all the models,” Birx said. “100,000 to 200,000 we think of that as the range. We believe and hope every day we can do a lot better than that because that isn’t assuming 100 percent [of Americans] are doing everything they are supposed to be doing. But I think that’s possible.”
Birx appeared to misspeak saying the range was between 100,000 and 200,000. The graph she referenced had an upper limit of 240,000.
Fauci later said that the projection model could change with the addition of new data.
The announcement comes one day after Trump said full-on quarantines would not be necessary for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut on Saturday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that New York has confirmed 52,318 cases of coronavirus in the state. New Jersey has the second-highest case total of any state, with 8,825. New York City alone is nearing 30,000 cases. Just over 110,000 cases have been reported in the entire United States.