Coronavirus Task Force Details ‘Sobering’ Data Behind Its Extended Guidelines
America must brace for 100,000 or more people to die in the coming months in the coronavirus pandemic, the White House’s response team warned Tuesday.
“As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top immunologist helping to steer White House policy on the disaster. “No one is denying the fact that we are going through a very, very difficult time right now.”
The White House’s coronavirus task force detailed the modeling and other data that compelled President Trump to extend virus countermeasures deeper into the spring.
Fauci and another top physician, Dr. Deborah Birx, renewed their pleas for Americans to observe social distancing and other precautions to try to depress the rate of infections and deaths.
“This is not a number we need to accept. We can influence this to a varying degree,” Fauci said.
Trump, however, suggested that he has been told that 100,000 could be a floor and not the ceiling.
“They’re very sobering, yeah,” the president said of the estimates. “When you see 100,000 people and that’s a minimum number … and they said it’s unlikely you’ll be able to attain that. Think of what would have happened if we didn’t do anything.”
“Hard days” lie ahead
The president had earlier described an imaginary scene of full church pews on Easter Sunday — but then acknowledged Sunday that federal guidelines for social distancing and other mitigation measures would need to remain in place through April 30.
“It’s life and death, frankly,” Trump said. “It’s a matter of life and death.”