Friday. 02.06.2023

US government predicts up to 240,000 coronavirus deaths

President Trump said, “2.2 million people would have died if we did nothing.”
Donald Trump
The US President Donald Trump. Photo: The President of Russia archive.

US President Donald Trump and the physicians advising the federal pandemic response on Tuesday delivered a bleak outlook for the coronavirus’s spread across the country, predicting a best-case scenario of 100,000 to 240,000 fatalities in spite of the social distancing measures that have drastically limited citizens’ interactions and movements.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the coronavirus response, displayed the grim projection at a White House news conference and then joined President Trump in pledging to do everything possible to reduce the numbers even further.

Trump adopted a newly sedate and somber tone and contradicted many of his own previous assessments of the Covid-19 as he instructed Americans to continue social distancing, school closures and other mitigation efforts for an additional 30 days and to think of the choices they make as matters of life and death. He added that Americans would soon “start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mr. Trump, who spent weeks playing down the threat of the Covid-19 virus, congratulated himself for the projections, which he said showed that strict public health measures may have already reduced the death toll. He suggested that as many as 2.2 million people “would have died if we did nothing if we just carried on with our life.” By comparison, President Trump said, a potential death toll of 100,000 “is a very low number.”

“It’s going to be like a burst of light, I really think, and I hope,” Trump said. “Our strength will be tested, our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love and courage and ironclad resolve.”

But on a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surged above 3,900, surpassing China’s official count, the pandemic’s personal and financial toll continued to play out across the nation.

US government predicts up to 240,000 coronavirus deaths