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University model predicts US could nearly double COVID-19 cases by Jan. 20

University model predicts US could nearly double COVID-19 cases by Jan. 20
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A model from Washington University in St. Louis predicts that the United States could nearly double in COVID-19 cases by Inauguration Day.

The model predicts that the U.S. could reach 20 million cases by Jan. 20, CNN reports, nearly doubling the current 12.4 million infections already reported.

The model comes as the U.S. experiences a surge in hospitalizations and infections ahead of the winter months. Experts have warned that cases would rise as the colder weather forces people to spend more time indoors, where the virus can spread more easily.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week warned against traveling for Thanksgiving as cases spread, and several states have imposed new lockdowns and tighter coronavirus restrictions in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus around the holiday.

More than 3.1 million cases were reported in the U.S. since the beginning of November, CNN noted, the most reported in a single month. On Sunday, the nation marked the 20th straight day of more than 100,000 new confirmed cases.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, the U.S. set a new record for hospitalizations for the 14th consecutive day Monday, with 85,836 people hospitalized.

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A projection from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation predicts that another 140,000 Americans could die from the virus over the next two months, CNN notes. More than 258,000 people have already died from the virus. 

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Manchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE has made confronting the pandemic a central focus when he takes office in January. In addition to assembling his coronavirus task force, he's met with a bipartisan group of governors on addressing the pandemic. 

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOde to Mother's Day Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate In honor of Mother's Day, lawmakers should pass the Momnibus Act MORE met with mayors Monday amid the surge of cases.

Meanwhile, President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE has downplayed the virus and has been absent from meetings of the White House coronavirus task force, while his allies have called on Americans to resist new guidelines.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany last week criticized new guidelines put in place by states like Oregon and New York as “Orwellian.”