US President Donald Trump said Sunday that the peak death rate in the United States from the Coronavirus pandemic was likely to hit in two weeks.
During a briefing at the White House, Trump also said that he was extending the government’s “social distancing” guidelines until April 30.
“The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” the president said.
“Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th to slow the spread,” he said.
Trump also said he expects the country “will be well on our way to recovery” by June 1 — dropping his previous target of Easter.
In a dire warning, the White House on Sunday projected that America’s peak death toll from the Coronavirus is likely in two weeks coinciding with Easter weekend and in a worst case scenario, a total of 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could eventually succumb to the virus.
“It’s possible. It’s entirely possible that would happen if we don’t mitigate. What we’re trying to do is to not let that happen,” America’s top infectious diseases doctor, Anthony Fauci said at a White House briefing.
Dr Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, explained that the model which is predicting the 100,000-200,000 death toll number assumes that social distancing is happening at scale.
At the same time, Fauci urged Americans not to get “overly anxious” about the extremes of the models. “Models are as good as the assumptions you put into it,” Fauci said.
US president Donald Trump said that the grim numbers come from the “most accurate” study so far which landed on his desk Sunday.
Trump said, “2.2 million people would have died if we did not do the social distancing and all that. If we could hold that down to a 100,000 – it’s a horrible number – we’ve done a very good job.”
By Sunday, the US death toll crossed the 2,300 mark and its caseload, already the world’s maximum, rose to more than 1,35,000.
The number of Coronavirus cases around the world crossed the 700,000 mark near midnight on Monday, while the death toll crossed the 33,500 mark, with Italy (10,779) and Spain (6,606) accounting for over half of them, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.