White House predicts 100,000 to 200,000 coronavirus deaths

Trump predicts 'very painful two weeks' as coronavirus 'plague' deaths expected to peak mid-April

Image
President Trump at March 30, 2020 coronavirus briefing
President Trump at March 30, 2020 coronavirus briefing
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 31, 2020 - 6:43pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Links

Other Media

Image
Timeline of projected coronavirus deaths
Timeline of projected coronavirus deaths
(Deborah Birx White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator)
Image
Coronavirus Mortality Projections
Coronavirus Mortality Projections
(White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx)

    The White House expects 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. will perish in the coronavirus pandemic, health advisers in the White House coronavirus task force said Tuesday.

    "Our hope is to get that down as far as we possibly can," said Dr. Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

    Fauci said the number of deaths could be lower if Americans take stringent mitigation methods, including "social distancing." 

    "We don't accept that number, that that's what it's going to be," Fauci continued. "I don't want it to be a mixed message. We want to do much much better than that." 

    President Trump said the country would experience a dark period over the next two weeks – as the country heads toward its projected peak of coronavirus deaths, in mid-April. 

    "We're going to go through a very tough two weeks," Trump said, before the country would see a "light at the end of the tunnel."

    During his daily coronavirus task force briefing Tuesday, Trump also called for Americans to maintain their "ironclad resolve" to maintain "social distancing" to prevent the more rapid spread of the coronavirus.

    "It's a matter of life and death," he said while urging Americans to continue their vigilance around "social distancing" as Tuesday marked the grim milestone of more deaths due to coronavirus than the deaths of those killed in the terrorist attacks of 9-11, more than 3,000.

    "This is going to be a very, very painful two weeks," Trump said, calling for Americans' "collective strength, love and devotion" to "rescue the most vulnerable among us."

    Image
    Timeline of projected coronavirus deaths
    Timeline of projected coronavirus deaths
    (Deborah Birx White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator)

    Trump also struck a hopeful note, saying that as the deaths would reach their peak in mid-April, they would then begin a rapid decline. 

    "It's going to be like a burst of light, I really think, and I really hope," he said. "The country's coming together like I've never seen before." 

    "Some of the things we're doing now will be very good practice for the future," Trump said. "Some of what we're learning now will live on into the future."

    Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator both reiterated the need to continue "social distancing" in order to prevent what their projections showed could be more than a million deaths without the practice. 

    Image
    Coronavirus Mortality Projections
    Coronavirus Mortality Projections
    (White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx)

    Trump spoke by telephone today with CEOs of American telecommunication network service providers including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Comcast, Sprint and others about their response to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump during his press briefing said the firms were seeing record volume to keep Americans connected during this time of social distancing.

    Trump has faced criticism from some members of the media for his daily coronavirus task force briefings, with critics claiming they amount to 

    However, the briefings are likely to continue, given that internal polling released today by the Trump campaign found that 84 percent of Americans say they are watching all or some of Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings, 89 percent support Trump’s extension of social distancing guidelines through April. The campaign also reported 63 percent approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis, versus only 32 percent disapprove and 51 percent credit Trump and Republicans for coronavirus relief legislation, versus only 31 percent crediting Democrats.

    The White House coronavirus task force has been focused on healthcare providers facing medical equipment shortages and exorbitantly high drug prices during the coronavirus outbreak are captive to kickback-receiving “middlemen” who lock up hospitals in exclusive contracts that enable price gouging and supply bottlenecks, according to a network of physician advocacy groups representing 3,000 physicians. 

    Trump's former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told Just the News that questions around these exclusive contracts were worth examining.