Director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House task force for Coronavirus Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that 300,000 to 400,000 people could die from coronavirus in the US. He offered this grim prediction while speaking to students of American University at a virtual event. He said that if the citizens of the US don’t do what is required of them in the fall and winter seasons then the US death toll by coronavirus may exceed 300,000 to 400,000.
Dr. Fauci further said that the recent infections that happened at the White House could have been avoided. Some senior politicians of the Republican party and several close people to United States President Donald Trump have contracted the coronavirus days after the president announced that he and his wife have tested positive for the virus.
President Donald Trump spent three nights at a military hospital for the treatment of the virus and returned on Monday to the White House. While leaving the hospital he was wearing a mask but removed it later to pose for pictures on the balcony of the White House and did not wear it back when he entered the White House. Trump covers his face with a face mask or face shield very rarely and very little social distancing is observed at the rallies for his campaign or events at the White House.
Dr. Fauci used what happened at the White House as an example when asked about any advice to people who wanted to discuss preventive measures with their friends/relatives who believed that the virus is not real. He said that the virus is a reality and not a hoax as more and more people are becoming the victims of coronavirus in the US. Dr. Fauci believes that the situation is unfortunate as it could have been avoided.
According to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model, if the mask-wearing is implemented by the US universally then the death toll could be kept at a figure of not more than 278,526 Americans. Currently, around 216,000 people have died of coronavirus in the US, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University. However, if the safety restrictions are not imposed there could be as many as 435,000 people died by the end of the year.
Dr. Fauci believes that the likely hood of the vaccine being available before next summer or fall is very low. This prediction is in line with the prediction made by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield, who said that it would take approximately 6 months to 9 months for the whole public to be vaccinated once the vaccine is available.
The scientific head of Operation Warp Speed Moncef Mohamed Slaoui wrote that around 300 million doses of the vaccine could be made available to the public by the mid of next year. However, Dr. Fauci believes that normal life in the world may not resume before the end of next year because of the challenges associated with the distribution of vaccines.