The death toll in the country has exceeded 263,000 since the outbreak began. And nearly 60,000 more people could die in the next three weeks, according to a joint forecast by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this week.
One expert told CNN Wednesday night that the number of daily deaths is likely to double over the next ten days.
“So we’re going to see nearly 4,000 deaths a day, so in just 20 more days, you can reach another 60,000 deaths,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University.
“In a week, we will probably see a jump in two weeks,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, on Wednesday. – We are in a difficult time.
In other words, the forecasts for the coming weeks are gloomy. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start reversing things.
“We all got together, wore masks and did social distance, we can bend this curve in two to three weeks,” Schaffner said. “We could see that transmission is actually declining even before access to vaccines.”
We need to reverse the tide
While a potential vaccine candidate may soon be given the green light, the widespread effects of vaccination will take months. But Americans have valuable tools that can help in the meantime.
These are the public safety measures that officials have been advocating for months – face masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds and practicing good hygiene such as regular hand washing.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice in recent weeks has asked residents to wear face shields, saying the masks are “truly the only projectile in the gun.”
“If you have any inconveniences, if you don’t believe in it, please pick it up … what’s the downside,” Justice told a news conference this week. “Look, we’re not the ones to take anyone’s rights.” Good sir, I mean it with all my heart, we don’t want to do that at all. But you have to help.
That kind of message needs to be echoed by local leaders across the country, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Thursday morning.
“Tell me every day and I hope some people really start to believe. That’s our only hope at the moment. We need to limit these surges and we need these local leaders to really act, so it’s absolutely vital,” he said. .
That’s the only option that can help keep more people alive until vaccination, he said.
“It’s a matter of keeping your mother, father, brother, sister alive in the meantime,” Hotez added. “If only we could get these messages out.”
Florida is extending the ban on cities imposing masked mandates
But masks are still controversial in many parts of the United States.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extended this week an order banning local governments from imposing unjustified fines for violating epidemic-related mandates, such as mask mandates, or restricting restaurant capacity.
“It is deeply frustrating that @GovRonDeSantis continues to block local action and make it difficult for local leaders to keep our community safe,” Cava wrote.
“I ask the governor to work with the local mayors so that we can bring our local knowledge to the table,” Cava added. “We need to work together to develop policies that will protect our families and our economy in this time of crisis.
Last week, Florida reported more than 56,400 new infections and more than 520 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
CNN will contact DeSantis’ office for a comment.
Of the 8 American Covid-19 cases, only 1 can be accounted for
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of more than 12.8 million Americans have tested positive for the virus. However, a new study suggests that this may be only a small fraction of the true number of infections in the United States.
According to CDC researchers, only about one in eight – or 13% – of all Covid-19 infections in the country have been detected and reported by the end of September. This means that up to 53 million people in the United States could have been infected from February to September — yet only about 7 million confirmed symptoms of Covid-19 were reported nationwide during that time, the researchers noted.
To estimate the number of Covid-19 cases missed since the start of the pandemic, researchers used a model to modify the number of reported symptomatic cases in the United States. Knowledge of cases, asymptomatic infections, detection of patients requiring or not seeking care, and the risk of false negative tests were considered.
Among the limitations of the study was that the availability and use of tests have changed over time and their results are for estimation only.
While the numbers may seem large, the researchers wrote that “it still indicates that about 84% of the U.S. population has not yet been infected, and so much of the country is still at risk, despite hospital admissions. treatment is already high “.
CNN’s Ben Tinker, Evan Simko-Bednarski, Jacqueline Howard, Melissa Alonso, Amanda Watts and Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.