The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Wednesday that the nation is facing a devastating winter, predicting that total deaths from Covid-19 could reach “close to 450,000” by February unless a large percentage of Americans follow precautions like mask-wearing.
“The reality is, December and January and February are going to be rough times,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the C.D.C., in an address to the Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”
The C.D.C. has been posting aggregate forecast models of the potential for a mounting death toll as the pace of the coronavirus outbreaks in various states has accelerated.
“We’re in that range potentially now, starting to see 1,500 to 2,000 to 2,500 deaths a day from this virus,” Dr. Redfield said. “The mortality concerns are real, and I do think, unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans” dead from the virus.
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