Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he anticipates between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in America from the coronavirus with millions infected.
But Fauci cautioned on CNN’s State of the Union that he didn’t want to be held to that prediction because the outbreak is “such a moving target.”
Fauci also threw cold water on the president’s desire to get the country back to work by Easter.
“To put a time on it, I don’t know, it’s going to be a matter of weeks, it’s not going to be tomorrow and it’s certainly not going to be next week,” Fauci said. “It’s going to be a little bit more than that.”
“We’re a group, we’re a task force, we’re going to sit down and we’re going to talk about it,” Fauci added. “But obviously, what you see me describe, it’s a little iffy there. So we’ll take it as it comes, we’ll look at it, and if we need to push the date forward, we will push the date forward.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, head of the White House coronavirus task force, said on Meet the Press that “no state, no metro area will be spared from the virus.”
“Every metro area should assume that they will have an outbreak equivalent to New York,” she said, pointing to the area with the highest number of confirmed cases so far.
This may mean that any effort to open parts of the country and not others would be inadvisable. Dr. Fauci believes that as “rapid tests” become available — tests that give results in under an hour — it may be possible to carry out the president’s plan to reopen the country. But these tests are not widely available across the country yet and until they are, even opening areas where there are few cases might be a gamble.
Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards sounded a somber alarm on ABC’s This Week.
“We remain on a trajectory, really, to overwhelm our capacity to deliver health care,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said on ABC’s “This Week.” “By the end of the first week in April, we think the first real issue is going to be ventilators. And we think it’s about the fourth or fifth of April before, down in the New Orleans area, we’re unable to put people on ventilators who need them. And then several days later, we will be out of beds.”
He said officials have orders out for more than 12,000 ventilators through the national stockpile and private vendors, but so far have only been able to get 192.
That’s pretty specific and based on a current projection of cases. It appears that things are going to get critical for several cities in the next 10 days.