A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn borough of New York. The body was moved to a hearse to be removed to a mortuary. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Published 03/31/2020 | Reading Time 1 min 57 sec
WASHINGTON — The White House is projecting that between 100,000 to 240,000 people in the U.S. will die from the coronavirus pandemic if social distancing measures continue to be followed.
The projections were presented during a White House briefing Tuesday. They suggest that, if no social distancing measures had been put in place across the country, between 1.5 million to 2.2 million people would have died.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is helping to lead the U.S. effort, says, “As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it.” But he says he hopes it won’t soar so high.
President Donald Trump is formally releasing his 30-day guidelines for battling the coronavirus, saying compliance with the recommendations is a “matter of life and death.”At Tuesday’s White House briefing on the pandemic, Trump said, “Every citizen is being called upon to make sacrifices.”
The guidelines are similar to the administration’s earlier advice that aimed to slow the spread of the virus in two weeks. The president, however, recently announced that he was going to extend the guidelines for another 30 days, giving up his hope to reopen the national economy by Easter.
Trump said: “This is going to be a very painful, very very painful two weeks.”
The guidelines call for continued social distancing, staying at home if sick and calling your doctor. People are also urged to refrain from going to restaurants and bars, utilize delivery and takeout food options and protect the elderly, although young people are at risk too.