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Trump now says US coronavirus deaths could reach 100,000

31 March 2020

By The SUN

Trump's turnaround came after the virus cases in the US kept mounting 

Deaths in the United States from coronavirus could reach 100,000 or more, according to President Donald Trump, as he extended the nationwide social distancing guidelines for another month to Apr 30.

If the number stays at or below 100,000, “we all together have done a very good job," Trump said during an evening news conference at the White House on Mar 29.

The US has overtaken China with its confirmed cases passing 143,055, and the death toll exceeding 2,500. Italy trails the US with 97,689 confirmed cases but has the highest death toll in the world at 10,779.

In comparison, China, where the novel coronavirus disease was first detected, has 81,997 confirmed cases, with 3,304 deaths.

Trump was asked about comments made by the US top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier Sunday on CNN's “State of the Union” that, based on models, more than 100,000 Americans could die from the virus.

Trump said he received what he called the “most accurate” or “most comprehensive” study today about the potential death toll from Covid-19. He said there could be more than 2 million cases if “we did nothing.” He did not elaborate.

Fauci told CNN earlier Sunday the US could see millions of coronavirus cases in the US.

“When I heard the number today, first time I heard that number, because I have been asking the same question to some people. I felt even better about what we did last week with the $2.2 trillion,” Trump said, referring to the historic stimulus package passed by Congress last week.

“Because you are talking about a potential of up to 2.2 million and some people said it could even be higher than that. You are talking about 2.2 million deaths. 2.2 million people from this,” Trump said.

Trump announced Sunday the nationwide social distancing guidelines will stay in force until Apr 30. He said he expects the “peak” of the pandemic in two weeks and the US to be well on its way to recovery by Jun 1.

Fauci called the expanded guidelines “prudent.” 
A US health worker in full protective gear (USA Today photo)

New York remains the epicenter of the US crisis, accounting for nearly 60,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and around 960 deaths. The pandemic is expanding fast in neighboring New Jersey, where so far more than 13,000 cases have been reported, with 161 deaths.

More than 20 of the 50 American states have recorded over 1,000 coronavirus cases.

Italy’s death toll passed the grim milestone on Saturday with an increase of 889 since the last figures were released on Friday, according to Italy's Civil Protection Agency.

Dr Massimo Galli, head of the infectious disease unit at Sacco Hospital in Milan, said Italy’s number of confirmed cases is “not representative of the entire infected population.” The real figure is “much, much more.”

In the northern Lombardy region, which has the most cases, about 5,000 swabs are being carried out daily, said Galli. He added this was “much lower than needed, with thousands of people waiting for diagnosis at their home.”

Spain saw its Covid-19 cases surge to 85,195 on Sunday with the death toll at 7,340.

United Nations Development Programme administrator Achim Steiner said the pandemic threatens to disproportionately hit developing countries, not only as a short-term health crisis but as a devastating social and economic crisis in months and years to come.

Income losses would exceed $220 billion in developing countries, and nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost. With an estimated 55% of the global population having no access to social protection, these losses will reverberate across societies, impacting education, human rights and in the most severe cases, basic food security and nutrition.

“This pandemic is a health crisis. But not just a health crisis. For vast swathes of the globe, the pandemic will leave deep, deep scars,” noted Steiner.

“Without support from the international community, we risk a massive reversal of gains made over the last two decades, and an entire generation lost, if not in lives then in rights, opportunities and dignity.”

As of this writing, there were 730,665 confirmed cases around the globe with the total death toll at 34,769 and the number of patients who recovered at 151,231. With CNN

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