US Death Toll Hits Mark Beyond Fauci's Prediction

A quarter million are dead in America, with 'no end in sight'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2020 5:40 PM CST
US Death Toll Hits Mark Fauci Failed to Predict
In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing outside the department in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The US coronavirus death toll just reached a quarter million—more than Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted back in March—with "no end in sight," the New York Times reports. Experts are saying the country could soon reach 2,000 daily deaths and lose another 100,000 or 200,000 people. "It all depends on what we do and how we address this outbreak," says Columbia University professor Jeffrey Shaman, who has modeled the spread of COVID-19. "That is going to determine how much it runs through us." Fauci predicted in March that the virus might take 240,000 American lives, but in almost 10 months, the coronavirus has killed more people than car accidents, suicides, and strokes typically do in a year—combined, CNN reports.

"Right now, the entire planet is in trouble," Fauci told the CBC. "If you look at almost every country, there are very few exceptions. The European Union, if you look at the number of new infections, it's out of sight. The United States is out of sight. Canada, which was supposedly doing so well, is also getting into trouble. There's a lot of community spread." The greatest spreading risk, he said, is among groups at the "household level" who have no idea they're infected. "We've got to be able to test widely in the community for asymptomatic spreaders of the infection," he explained. While news of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccine trial results is "extraordinary," he said, it still isn't "time to celebrate." (More coronavirus stories.)

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