The nation’s leading infectious-disease expert said Sunday that the US will have millions of cases of COVID-19, leading to more than 100,000 deaths.
Anthony Fauci, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, said that he had never seen an outbreak follow the worst-case scenario projected in disease models.
But he offered his own estimates for the course of the new coronavirus in the US.
“I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases,” Fauci said but corrected himself to say he was referring to deaths.
“But I don’t want to be held to that,” he added. “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection, when it’s such a moving target.”
The US surpassed Italy and China to become the world’s largest COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday. As of Sunday morning, the country had confirmed more than 125,000 infections.
“We’re going to have millions of cases,” Fauci said.
So far the illness has killed more than 2,100 people in the US after the death toll doubled in just two days.
The country’s worst outbreak is in New York state, which has reported more than 53,000 people with the virus. In New York City, hospitals are beginning to run out of space and protective equipment.
The city has built a makeshift morgue to deal with the spike in deaths, and Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned that half of New Yorkers will likely be infected.
“We got a serious problem in New York, we have a serious problem in New Orleans, and we’re going to be developing serious problems in other areas,” Fauci said.
“So, although people like to model it, let’s just look at the data of what we have, and not worry about these worst-case and best-case scenarios.”
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