The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says between 300,000 and 400,000 Americans could die from covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, if action isn’t taken in the fall and winter.
“The models tell us if we don't do what we need to in the fall and winter, we could have 300,000-400,000 covid-19 deaths," Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a virtual event hosted by American University on Tuesday.
Fauci's comments come after the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted in August that as many as 300,000 people could die of covid-19 by Dec. 1.
Fauci also claimed on Tuesday that a vaccine will probably not be available to most of the Americans until next summer or the fall. He had previously said that life may not return to normal until the end of next year.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has recorded 210,918 deaths and more than 7.5 confirmed infections of covid-19 so far.
Last week, US President Trump also tested positive for coronavirus and spent three nights in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment.
Trump's administration is under fire over its measures regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Many experts maintain that Trump could save thousands of American lives if he acted decisively in early February with a strict shutdown.
Trump, however, has repeatedly questioned the way coronavirus deaths are being calculated, accusing the US Democrats of downplaying his actions in fight against the virus.
The US president also spared no effort during the past months to pin the blame on the Chinese officials over the virus outbreak, claiming that the pandemic has started from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Meanwhile, Bob Woodward, the Washington Post's associate editor, has recently published a book based on a number of interviews with Donald Trump, in which he reveals that the US president had deliberately downplayed the danger of the virus in early days of the pandemic.
“I wanted to always play it down,” Woodward quoted Trump as saying in mid March. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Woodward also claims in his book that Trump had been informed weeks before covid-19 that the virus was dangerous and highly contagious.
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