Coronavirus deaths in U.S. could hit nearly 300,000 by Dec. 1, researchers say

With current trends, nearly 300,000 people could die in the U.S. due to coronavirus complications by the end of the year, researchers at the University of Washington reported.

So far, about 170,000 people have died due to COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

Dr. Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences and chief strategy officer for population health at the University of Washington, leads a team in charge of adjusting coronavirus-related projections. Recent updates show an estimated 295,011 fatalities due to the virus by Dec. 1.

Mokdad told Seattle-based KIRO-TV that if 95% of people wore masks and face coverings in public, about 70,000 coronavirus-related deaths could be avoided.

According to KIRO-TV, citing studies, 50-60% of Americans are wearing masks.

“You have a big segment of the population that COVID-19, in their mind, is not an issue that will impact them,” he told the news station.

Mokdad said the upcoming fall and winter months will overwhelm the American medical system as flu season comes into play if COVID-19 isn’t under control.

“Transmission is also likely to increase in winter months due to seasonality and the move to more indoor activities as the weather gets colder,” Mokdad wrote in a thread on Twitter. “We need a national coordinated response more than ever to slow the premature opening of businesses, bars, and schools (in hot spots) so we can finally contain the pandemic across the nation ... This is a patient virus, one that waits for us to make mistakes. We need to act decisively now, unite around science, and do the right things for the sake of our present and future.”

Mokdad noted that as cases rise, people become more diligent about adhering to safety measures, but when they drop, people become more relaxed instead of remaining cautious. That type of behavior, he said, leads to a surge in cases in what can become a cyclical trend.

More than 5.3 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in the U.S.


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