US coronavirus deaths may reach 200,000: Top scientist
Addis Ababa, March 30, 2020 (FBC)- US deaths from coronavirus could reach 200,000 with millions of cases, the government’s top infectious disease expert warned on Sunday as New York, New Orleans, and other major cities said they would soon run out of crucial medical supplies.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated in an interview with CNN that the pandemic could cause between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in the United States.
But Fauci, a leading member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus taskforce, quickly added: “I don’t want to be held to that … It’s such a moving target that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.”
By way of comparison, the flu has killed between 12,000 and 61,000 Americans a year, since 2010, according to the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the 1918-19 flu pandemic killed 675,000 in the US, according to the CDC.
Asked about the persistent shortage of tests for the COVID-19 disease, Fauci struck a slightly more optimistic tone, saying, “If you compare a couple of weeks ago to where we are right now, we have an amazingly larger number of tests than we had.”
Asked how soon the wider availability of testing might allow a lifting of travel and work restrictions, Fauci said, “It’s going to be a matter of weeks. It’s not going to be tomorrow and it’s certainly not going to be next week. It’s going to be a little bit more than that.”