Story at a glance
- A projection reported by Newsweek says the U.S. will lead the world in the number of COVID-19 deaths in the coming days.
- A surge of deaths in the U.S. has been recorded this week, while hospitalizations in hot spots like New York have slowed, signaling the curve is beginning to flatten.
- Health officials estimate roughly 60,000 deaths by August.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide have surpassed the 1.5 million mark since the outbreak began late last year, with the United States now making up more than a quarter of the cases.
According to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker, more than 452,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., with more than 16,000 deaths and nearly 25,000 recoveries.
The U.S. leads the rest of the world in confirmed cases by the hundreds of thousands, with Spain and Italy coming in second and third respectively.
Currently, Italy leads the world in the number of COVID-19 deaths with more than 18,200 as of Thursday afternoon, but it’s possible the U.S. could soon take the top spot in number of fatalities.
New projections reported by Newsweek Thursday estimate the U.S. will have the highest number of coronavirus deaths within five days, as the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates the peak for deaths per day will occur April 12 with more than 2,200 fatalities.
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Health officials earlier this week warned Americans to expect a surge of COVID-19 deaths, while New York alone has recorded more than 7,000 fatalities as of Thursday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, however, said Thursday that hospitalizations and intensive care admissions had fallen, suggesting that the curve was beginning to flatten.
Meanwhile, White House estimates of the U.S. death toll have significantly dropped from initial projections that 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the coronavirus task force, told NBC’s “Today” show that given widespread mitigation efforts, the death toll will likely be closer to 60,000.
The White House has been closely monitoring the model from the University of Washington, which estimates total deaths across the country from COVID-19 to be around 60,000 by August.
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