Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union”, offered his prognosis as the federal government weighs rolling back guidelines on social distancing in areas that have not been as hard-hit by the outbreak at the conclusion of the nationwide 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus. The U.S. government’s foremost infection disease expert says the United States could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the coronavirus pandemic.
The US has become the epicenter with about 125,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and over 2,100 dead as of March 29, 2020. Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems. Hospitals in the most afflicted areas are straining to handle patients and some are short of critical supplies.
The US president has suggested that a target date for reopening the U.S economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus outbreak, is April 12, Easter. But public health officials warn that lifting restrictions too soon could lead to more deaths and further damage the economy. To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued social distancing guidelines and called for gatherings of more than 10 people to be canceled, while governors have ordered residents in their states to remain in their homes and ordered nonessential businesses to close.
The CDC has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” the CDC said in a statement. “This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.” The CDC also noted that the governors of the three states would “have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.”
With more than 124,000 cases and 2,046 deaths nationwide, the three states make up more than half of the cases and nearly half of the deaths. New York State has over 55,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths. New Jersey has over 11,000 confirmed cases and 140 deaths. Connecticut has over 1,200 confirmed cases and 33 deaths. Most of the Connecticut cases are in Fairfield County where many residents commute into New York City for work.