Top public health advisors and members of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus have warned that the coronavirus outbreak could claim up to 2,00,000 lives in the United States.
It is on the advice of Dr Deborah Bix and Dr Anthony Fauci that US President Donald Trump extended the coronavirus guidelines in the country, including social distancing, until April 30, as the two predicted that the death rate was likely to hit its peak in the next two weeks.
“All of the flu models predicted anywhere between 1.6 and 2.2 million fatalities if we didn’t mitigate. Some of them predicted half of the United States would get infected and have that level of mortality,” Dr Brix said.
Based on this and the figures coming from the ground, Dr Brix said the White House Coronavirus Task Force has worked very hard together to really look at all of the impacts of the different mitigations that have been utilized around the world.
The Task Force, which is headed by Vice President Mike Pence, has used that evidence base to bring that data and evidence to the President to consider for extending, which is not a simple situation when you ask people to stay at home for another 30 days, she explained.
“There are people who have to go out to work and we know the compromises that they’re making. But, it’s all to protect not only Americans, but the healthcare providers, the healthcare providers that are on the front lines,” she added.
In the absence of such a step, Trump said, various models have predicted around 2.2 million deaths in the US.
With the mitigation like the one announced on Sunday, Dr Brix said the model predicts anywhere between 80,000 and 160,000 maybe even potentially 200,000 people succumbing to this.
“That’s with mitigation. In that model they make full assumption that we continue doing exactly what we’re doing but even better in every metro area with a level of intensity because we’re hoping that the models are not completely right. That we can do better than what the predictions are,” she said.
“The reason the President made the announcement today about going to the end of April is because we want to make sure that we don’t prematurely think we are doing so great. We may be but we want to push it to the extreme. So take that with you and maybe you will be less anxious,” Dr Fauci said.