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29 Apr, 2020 20:20

US coronavirus deaths pass 60,000, eclipsing Fauci’s lowered prediction – JHU count

US coronavirus deaths pass 60,000, eclipsing Fauci’s lowered prediction – JHU count

The Covid-19 death toll in the US has passed 60,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The deaths are now above the figure predicted by the latest model used by Dr Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump’s disease specialist.

The United States saw its coronavirus deaths tick past 60,000 on Wednesday, after another 1,743 fatalities were recorded in the preceding 24 hours. At just over a million cases, the US has more coronavirus infections than the next five countries combined. More than a third of all American Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in New York.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted last month that the US could see a death toll of between 100,000 and 200,000 – noting that this was a “best case” scenario. However, Fauci since revised that prediction downwards, as the University of Washington released a model predicting 60,000 fatalities.

As the US inched closer to passing that downgraded prediction, President Donald Trump acknowledged on Monday that the nationwide toll could fall somewhere between 60,000 and 70,000. 

"So, yeah, we've lost a lot of people," Trump said during a White House press briefing. "But if you look at what original projections were, 2.2 million, we are probably heading to 60,000 to 70,000,” he added, referencing an early and stark forecast by London’s Imperial College.

The coronavirus has hit the US unevenly. While New York accounts for more than a third of all deaths and just under a third of all cases, Texas – which is home to 10 million more people than New York – has seen less than a tenth of the Empire State’s cases and 32 times fewer deaths.

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New cases of Covid-19 have apparently stopped rising nationwide, and have declined over the last four days. Deaths, however, continue to ebb and flow. Last Tuesday saw a record number of fatalities reported in one day, with nearly 2,700 Covid-19 patients passing away.

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