Medical group says ‘hundreds of thousands’ of COVID-19 deaths possible if ‘nation does not change its course’

A medical group warned Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of more people could die from the coronavirus in the U.S. unless the nation adjusts its response to the pandemic.

“In just six months, nearly 150,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, with more than 4 million infected by the virus that causes it. Cases continue to rise at an alarming rate across much of the United States. If the nation does not change its course – and soon – deaths in the U.S. could well be in the multiples of hundreds of thousands,” the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) said

The warning comes amid alarming spikes in coronavirus cases across the country, particularly in the South and West.

The country has tallied more than 1,000 new deaths for seven of the last eight days, and there have been over 50,000 new cases per day every day since July 7, according to the Coronavirus Tracking Project

The AAMC released a road map detailing steps it says the country should take to try to blunt the pandemic’s spread, including fixing shortages in treatments, increasing testing capacities, establishing a national standard for face masks and school reopenings, beginning planning on distribution of a potential vaccine and more. 

The recommendations stand in stark contrast with the Trump administration’s approach, which has been wary of instituting national policies on masks, schools and more despite pressure to craft a more centralized response. 

“Despite working together as a nation to ‘flatten the curve,’ the United States is experiencing troubling new waves of infection. Instead of declining, the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, especially among vulnerable groups and communities of color, are growing rapidly. Particularly worrisome are the increases in infections among people in their 20s and 30s, who play a pivotal role in spreading the virus to older and other vulnerable populations,” the group said.

“Decisive, coordinated action is urgently needed to save lives, end the pandemic, restore America’s economy, and return our lives to normalcy. It is critical that the United States takes a united approach to the pandemic.”

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
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