U.S President Donald Trump Tuesday warned Americans that the country faces “a very tough two weeks” as Deborah Birx, the top public health official coordinating the coronavirus task force, said as many as 200,000 Americans are projected to die from the outbreak.
Dr Anthony Stephen Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases earlier warned that Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths.
“This is going to be a painful two weeks,” Trump said Tuesday at a White House briefing. “Our strength will be tested, our endurance will be tried.”
“It will be a very bad two weeks, may three weeks as we’ve never seen before”, the president added.
The president’s somber manner stood in contrast to the optimistic, upbeat tone he has projected in previous briefings, Bloomberg reported.
President Trump said he envisioned some of the practices — such as refraining from shaking hands — as lasting “long into the future.”
Birx and Anthony Fauci, the leading scientists on the White House coronavirus task force, have said that several public studies bolster their belief the virus could exact an even greater death toll in the coming weeks.
The latest projection from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts the death toll will dramatically spike in April from roughly 4,500 to almost 60,000 people — even with the isolation measures in place around the country. The study indicates the pace of deaths will plateau in May and June and eventually total almost 84,000 by the first week of August.
By April 15, when the death count is expected to peak, more than 2,200 Americans will die of the disease per day, according to the model. President Trump and Birx pointed to the University of Washington study on a call with governors on Monday.
The projections assume that “strong social distancing measures” and other restrictions will remain in place throughout the country, even though some large states, such as Florida, have declined to put in place stay-at-home orders that exist in New York, California, Washington and other virus hotspots.
The soaring rate of infections is expected to strain hospitals that are already struggling to care for infected patients and obtain desperately needed medical supplies. The University of Washington study projects that at the outbreak’s peak, roughly 220,000 hospital beds and 26,000 ventilators will be needed.
Trump said Tuesday that the federal government has 10,000 ventilators that it has held back in anticipation of a surge in cases over the coming weeks.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the U.S reported more than 780 deaths within 24-hour period. This is the most deaths in one day reported by the United States. In total, the U.S has more than 186,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 3,800 deaths.
In collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, updates the daily Coronavirus statistics worldwide through this link