Story at a glance

  • The health agency estimated last month there would be between 160,000 and 175,000 total deaths by Aug. 15.
  • More than 167,000 cases have been reported as of Friday.
  • Other health officials have warned that the U.S. could have as many as 300,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the U.S. coronavirus death toll could hit the 200,000 mark by Labor Day as children across the nation prepare to go back to school.

The CDC’s weekly ensemble forecast projects 180,000 to 200,000 total coronavirus-related deaths will be reported during the week ending on Sept. 5. The estimate includes forecasts of national COVID-19 deaths over the next four weeks from 31 modeling groups. 


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The health agency estimated last month there would be between 160,000 and 175,000 total deaths by Aug. 15. 

As of Friday, more than 167,000 deaths have been confirmed after the U.S. experienced more than 1,000 fatalities per day for more than two weeks as a wave of infections hit the Sun Belt, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Other health officials have warned that the U.S. could have as many as 300,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of this year. 

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts 295,011 coronavirus-related deaths by the beginning of December. The model estimates, however, that number could be reduced by more than 66,000 if 95 percent of people in the U.S. wear masks to slow the spread. 

The former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also warned the U.S. could hit that grim milestone before 2021. 

“We’re definitely going to be somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said earlier this week. 

He said whether the death toll is closer to 200,000 or 300,000 depends on how the country continues to respond to the health crisis. 

Coronavirus data released by the CDC toward the end of July revealed the actual number of COVID-19 cases may be approximately two to 13 times higher than government data currently indicates, according to a report from The New York Times. 

Published on Aug 14, 2020