By Doina Chiacu and Tom Polansek
WASHINGTON / CHICAGO (Reuters) – Deaths in the United States from the coronavirus could reach 200,000, with millions of cases, the government’s leading infectious disease expert warned on Sunday as New York, New Orleans and other big cities begged for more. medical supplies.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated in an interview with CNN that the pandemic could cause between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in the United States.
Since 2010, the flu has killed 12,000 to 61,000 Americans per year, according to the website of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The 1918-1919 flu pandemic killed 675,000 people in the United States, according to CDC data.
The death toll from the coronavirus in the United States exceeded 2,300 on Sunday after Saturday’s deaths more than doubled the level of two days earlier.
The United States has now recorded more than 130,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the record among all countries. (Graphic in English: https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T)
Jason Brown, who was fired from his digital media job due to the pandemic, said Fauci’s estimate was terrifying.
“I feel like it’s getting bigger and bigger,” said Brown, a 27-year-old Los Angeles resident. The city was one of the epicenters of the outbreak. “The vaccine does not exist. It seems that many people do not take it seriously in the United States, which makes me think that this will become more drastic.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose state became one of the fastest growing areas for the virus, especially in the county that includes Detroit, called the rapid spread “heartbreaking.”
“We have nurses who wear the same mask from the beginning of their shift to the end, masks that are supposed to be used with a single patient in one shift. We need assistance and we will need thousands of respirators,” Whitmer told CNN.
Meanwhile, New York City will need hundreds more respirators in a few days and more masks, gowns and other supplies by April 5, Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN on Sunday.
New Orleans will run out of medical respirators around April 4 and Louisiana state officials do not yet know if they will receive any from a national reserve, Governor John Bel Edwards said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, Doina Chiacu, and Chris Sanders in Washington, Karen Freifeld in New York, Tom Polansek in Chicago, and Dan Trotta; written by Lisa Shumaker; translated by Gabriel Burin)