By Christina Maxouris and Dakin Andone | CNN
More than 2,000 American deaths were recorded by Johns Hopkins University on Thursday — the highest number since early May.
And as the virus runs unabated across US communities, experts warn the coming weeks will likely be brutal and the pandemic’s death toll will keep climbing.
By December 18, more than 2,300 Americans could be losing their lives daily, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
“We expect daily deaths to reach a peak of over 2,500 a day in mid-January,” the IHME modeling team wrote on Thursday.
The group also hiked its Covid-19 death forecast considerably, now predicting a total of 471,000 American deaths by March 1 — up more than 30,000 since their last projection about a week ago.
Health officials predicted a rise in deaths would follow the surge of new infections and hospitalizations much of the country is now experiencing. On Thursday, the US reported a new high of more than 80,600 hospitalized patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
On the same day, another record: more than 187,800 new cases reported across the country, the most ever, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On Friday morning, only one state, Hawaii, was showing a decrease in new cases greater than 10% compared to the week prior, according to a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Five states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois — were holding steady, while the other 44 states were showing increases in new cases greater than 10%.
The nation is currently averaging 165,029 new cases per day — the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. Compared to just a week ago, new cases are up 25%.
“It’s sometimes very frustrating because we know what works,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday night. “If we had everybody pulling together as a country, doing the fundamental things that we’ve been speaking out, the mask wearing, the keeping the distance, the avoiding congregate settings and crowds, doing things outdoors … that’s not big stuff. It’s easy to do.”
Those simple measures could be lifesaving. According to the IHME team, 65,000 lives could be saved by March 1 if 95% of Americans wore masks.
Fauci: ‘Double down’ on masks, social distancing until vaccine
In a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing Thursday, Fauci urged Americans to “double down” on lifesaving measures until vaccines become widely available.
Fauci highlighted preliminary data from both Moderna and Pfizer that showed their vaccine candidates were about 95% effective, calling the results “extraordinary.” But that doesn’t mean the country can let up on wearing masks, avoiding gatherings and social distancing.
“We need to actually double down on the public health measures as we are waiting for that help to come, which will be soon,” Fauci said. “If we do that, we’ll be able to hold things off until the vaccine comes.”
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment