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Coronavirus Update: Trump braces U.S. for 'bad two weeks,' Hong Kong tries to stop second wave

The number of dead in U.S. could reach, exceed 100,000, task force health experts

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Empire State building on March 31, 2020
Empire State building on March 31, 2020
(Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Updated: April 1, 2020 - 8:07am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The U.S. on Wednesday passed several grim milestones in the coronavirus pandemic – surpassing the number dead for the 9/11 attacks and the related death toll in China, where the outbreak started. 

President Trump is bracing Americans for a brutal next couple of weeks, in which the death toll – now at more than 4,000 – could climb to 100,000 or 200,000, according to health experts on the White House coronavirus task force.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the U.S.

“This could be a hell of a bad two weeks,” Trump said Tuesday during the tasks force daily briefing. “This is going to be a very bad two, and maybe three weeks. This is going to be three weeks like we’ve never seen before.” 

The president’s remarks were perhaps his most somber since infection rates and the number of deaths started to spiked in the U.S. in mid-March. 

Trump’s most optimistic prediction during the task force briefing was that the pandemic is projected to peak in two or three weeks.  

The number of infections worldwide is 873,767 and the related deaths is now 43,288, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

Officials in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are trying to prevent an increase in infections from turning into a second wave by barred foreigners from entering their respective country.