Story at a glance

  • Birx said during an interview on “Today” she is “very worried” about every city in the country.
  • Her comments come after health officials Sunday announced there could be 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.
  • The U.S. has more than 153,000 confirmed cases with more than 2,800 deaths.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx predicted Monday there could be hundreds of thousands of fatalities in the United States from the coronavirus even in a best case scenario. 

“If we do things together well, almost perfectly, we could get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities,” Birx said Monday morning during an interview on “TODAY.”

Birx said the best case scenario means all Americans doing precisely what is required and advised by health and government officials. 

She added “we’re not sure that all of America is responding in a uniform way to protect one another,” referencing viral images online of people still gathering in big groups. 

Birx’s comments come after Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” the coronavirus could infect millions of people in the U.S. and account for more than 100,000 deaths. 

“We’re going to have millions of cases,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said. 

Birx said Monday she is very worried about every city in the country, saying, “I think some of the metro areas were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines.”


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Health officials have repeatedly called for social distancing requirements to remain in place for an extended period of time to curb the spread of the virus, and President Trump on Sunday announced the White House will keep its guidelines for social distancing in place through the end of April. 

There are more than 143,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., with more than 2,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.


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Published on Mar 30, 2020