Dr Fauci Warns Public: Prepare for 100,000 Americans to Die from Coronavirus
White House health official says we should be 'realistic' - 'we need to prepare ourselves'
As coronavirus cases continue to soar across the United States, the Trump Administration's leading health official has warned the American public to prepare for at least 100,000 people to die.
During Tuesday's White House briefing on the Chinese COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tony Fauci said we need to be "realistic" when asked if the death told in America could surpass the six figures predictions.
"The answer is yes - as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it," Fauci told members of the press.
White House projections have shown the number of U.S. deaths could surpass two million people without lockdowns and social distancing measures, but the number could be reduced to between 100k and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current guidelines are maintained.
"Is it going to be that much?" Fauci said in response.
"I hope not and I think the more we push on the mitigation the less likely to be that number but, being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that is a possibility that that's what we'll see."
Fauci used the figures to urge people to stick to social distancing guidelines of six feet of separation, according to The Daily Mail.
"Whenever you’re having an effect, it’s not time to take your foot off the accelerator, and on the brake, but to just press it down on the accelerator," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said of mitigation efforts.
"The fifteen days that we’ve had of mitigation clearly are having an effect," he noted.
He said such efforts could also help damage any potential second wave of illness.
"We hope that doesn't happen and that is why we are really pushing and why I was so emphatic about making sure we abide by those mitigation strategies," he said.
President Donald Trump said the prediction was "sobering" and called efforts to spread the slow of the coronavirus "a matter of life and death."
"It's absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days, it's a matter of life and death, frankly," the president said.
"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead.
"We're going through a very tough few weeks.
"And, hopefully, as the experts have predicted is a lot of us are predicting having studied it so hard, going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel and this is going to be a very painful, a very very painful two weeks," he noted.
President Trump's comments come as his administration is preparing Americans for tougher times to come.
The grim prognosis came as Americans are enduring school closures, work from home orders, and social lives on hold.
The prediction also came after the number of Americans who died from the coronavirus surpassed the number of Americans killed in the September 11th attacks.
To help its mitigation plan, President Trump extended his administration's recommendations to slow the spread of the Chinese virus from 15 days until the end of April.
The guidelines urged Americans to end social gatherings over the number of 10, work from home, and order take out.
Trump's announcement Sunday that those recommendations would be extended until April 30th was an abrupt reversal after he spent much of last week saying he'd like to see limitations lifted by Easter, which is April 12.
Many states and local governments already have stiffer controls in place to enforce social distancing.
But among all the tough talk of days to come, there were some glimmers of hope.
"If all of the other states and all the other metro areas are able to hold that case number down, then it's a very different picture," said Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the administration's day-to-day response to the disease.
"We're going to do everything we can to get it significantly below that," she said.
"We don't accept that number, that that's what it's going to be," he said.
"We're going to do everything we can to get that number even below that."