President Trump's coronavirus task force warns that up to 240,000 U.S. citizens could die from coronavirus exposure--and that's part of the best case scenario.
In yesterday's press briefing, the Trump administration delivered some sobering messages. President Trump warned Americans the next two weeks would be "very painful" as coronavirus deaths are expected to peak in mid-April. The best case scenario for total coronavirus deaths is in the hundreds thousands. The task force expects at least 100,000 people to die from the coronavirus in the United States, and deaths are expected to hit over 2,000 on April 15.
Without mitigation guidelines like social distancing, that number skyrockets to the millions.
"In the modeler's estimates, they had between 1.5 million and 2.2 million people in the United States succumbing to the virus without mitigation," said Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for White House coronavirus task force.
"Yet through their detailed studies and showing us what social distancing would do, what would happen if people stayed home, what would happen if people were careful everyday to wash their hands and worry about touching their faces, that what an extraordinary thing this could be if every American followed these regulations.
"It takes us from the mountain to a hill down to 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, which is still way too much."
The United States currently has nearly 200,000 confirmed cases and 4,361 total deaths with 8,632 recoveries. That's a 2% mortality rate and a 4.3% recovery rate.
To put that number in perspective, roughly 2.8 million people died in the United States in 2018. Influenza accounted for 14.9% of these deaths, or over 423,000 people.
At the highest projection of 240,000 deaths in 2020, coronavirus would account for 8.45% of the total deaths in 2018, and roughly 49% of total influenza deaths during the period.
Dr. Birx's slides, which are exhaustive models compiled by teams at the United States' top universities and institutions, show coronavirus deaths peaking at 2,214 deaths on April 15. The curve slowly falls to 1,500 deaths on May 1 and then plummets below 500 deaths in June. The model projects that coronavirus deaths may be eliminated by August 2020.
Slides from the IHME website show slightly different data. The data shows that up to 2,607 people could die on April 15, 2020. Total deaths are expected to sit out roughly 93,765 by August 4, 2020, where the virus should peter out completely.
These numbers are based around social distancing guidelines being followed until the end of May 2020.
Dr. Birx goes on to show a slide proving that social distancing is key to curbing the pandemic.
"This is what gives us hope. In Italy, they're beginning to turn the corner in new cases. They're entering their fourth week in full mitigation and showing what is possible when we work together as a community, as a country, to change the course of this pandemic forever."
"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We're going to go through a very tough two weeks, and then hopefully, as the experts are predicting, we're going to see some real light at the end of the tunnel. But this is going to be a very very painful two weeks," President Trump said during last night's coronavirus task force press briefing.
"Things are happening that we've never seen before in this country. This is the time for all Americans to come together and do our part."