Healthcare

13 million more Americans could get COVID-19 before Inauguration Day: report

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President-elect Joe Biden has started assembling a task force and taking steps to prepare to combat the COVID-19 pandemic when he enters office, but a new analysis finds that millions of Americans could be infected with the disease in the next two months before Inauguration Day.

Reuters reported this week, based on data and growth trends from early November, that the U.S. could face between 8 million and 13 million more coronavirus cases as well as 70,000 more deaths before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

The U.S. is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, with more than 180,000 new cases reported on Friday along with 1,389 new deaths, according to a database by The New York Times.

Biden has called on President Trump to take “urgent action” to curb the spread of the coronavirus, though he acknowledged in a pair of tweets on Friday night that he won’t be president for two months.

“I am the president-elect, but will not be president until next year. COVID-19 does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration,” he wrote.

A White House spokesman told Reuters that the president’s coronavirus task force remains “focused on saving lives” and is “in constant contact with state and local jurisdictions and health care providers, and continues to promote common sense mitigation measures.”

Still, others have called on the administration to enforce strict coronavirus measures, as cases are expected to continue to increase rapidly as the weather gets colder.

“The epidemic is going to be worse than it was in the spring, and worse than it was for the everyday American,” Gregg Gonsalves, a professor in epidemiology at Yale University, told the wire service.

Some have raised doubts about how seriously the White House will take the pandemic as the Trump administration transitions out, with state governors saying they have not received updates from the White House regarding the pandemic since before last week’s election.

The next call with governors is expected to take place on Monday, sources told The Hill.

Trump spoke at the White House on Friday to tout the administration’s efforts to secure and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 Donald Trump Inauguration Joe Biden

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