Since the coronavirus burst on the global scene roughly three months ago, there have been many predictions of what the death toll will be.
But, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that people should not pay too much attention to the worst-case scenario projections of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Whenever the models come in, they give a worst-case scenario and a best-case scenario. Generally, the reality is somewhere in the middle,” Fauci said, adding,
“I’ve never seen a model, of the diseases that I’ve dealt with, which the worst-case scenario actually came out, they always overshoot.”
He added, “So when you use numbers like a million, a million and a half, two million, that almost certainly is off the chart. Now, it’s not impossible, but very, very unlikely.”
Watch his comments below:
Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong,” he adds. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/F2MOHY3xl4— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020
“Looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases … excuse me, deaths, I mean we’re going to have millions of cases,” Fauci said about his projections for the death toll in the United States.
However, he said, “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target.”
Fauci’s comments come as the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows there are 136,880 confirmed cases in the U.S., and 2,381 coronavirus related deaths so far.
As the virus began spreading in the U.S., several institutions released models that projected the virus could kill millions of people if the worst-case scenarios played out.
One such model from Imperial College of London found that without restrictions designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, seven billion people could be infected, and 40 million people could die from the virus in 2020.
However, Charles Whittaker, the co-author of that report, said, “The results we present in this paper are not predictions of what will [necessarily] happen.”
He added, “Instead, what we’re trying to do is illustrate the magnitude of the problem and the benefits of acting quickly.”
Across the U.S., states have imposed strict measures and stay at home orders aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. And in one potential bright spot, the number of new cases in New Rochelle, New York — one of the first cities in the country to see such measures — has slowed over the past two weeks since the measures were implemented.