CDC director predicts lower death toll than previously forecasted
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director predicted a lower death toll than the administration had previously forecasted due to the public’s compliance with social distancing.
The early predictions of the COVID-19’s expected death toll in the U.S. assumed about half of Americans “would pay attention to the recommendations,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said Monday in an interview with AM 1030 KVOI Radio in Tucson, Ariz.
“What we’re seeing is a large majority of the American public are taking the social distancing recommendations to heart,” he said. “And I think that’s the direct consequence of why you’re seeing the numbers are going to be much, much, much, much lower than would have been predicted by the models.”
Redfield’s comments follow administration health officials’ projections that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus, even if people followed the social distancing and stay-at-home guidance.
The administration has taken a somber tone in the past week, with President Trump and Surgeon General Jerome Adams saying the weeks ahead will be tough. Adams said on Sunday he expected the week to be the “hardest and saddest” for most Americans, saying it will be “our Pearl Harbor moment and our 9/11 moment.”
But the surgeon general had more optimism on Tuesday saying he “absolutely” believed the death toll will fall short of the administration’s earlier predictions.
“I really do believe that we will come in under those projections as long as we can continue to do our part for 30 days,” he said.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has remained more cautionary, saying it is a “false statement” that the virus is under control Sunday.
Trump extended the federal guidance to reduce community spread to be in place until April 30.
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