Top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci just made an important announcement about the progress the U.S. is making against the coronavirus.
Fauci said on Wednesday that the real death numbers in the states are likely to be much lower than projected, citing the success of widespread social distancing measures, according to The Hill.
Mitigation strategies working
Fauci said during a Fox News interview on Wednesday that “although one of the original models projected 100- to 200,000 deaths, as we’re getting more data and seeing the positive effect of mitigation, those numbers are going to be downgraded.”
“I don’t know exactly what the numbers are going to be, but right now it looks like it’s going to be less than the original projection,” he remarked.
Originally, the best-case scenario projections for the U.S. still ended with over 200,000 deaths, according to several prominent models. Now, that is looking like an extremely unlikely outcome.
With more and more information coming in, this latest report raises questions about the methodology used in making those dire predictions in the first place.
Furthermore, the minds of many are beginning to shift to the question of when the economy will be reopened. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and restarting the economy is becoming a serious concern.
Things have gotten so bad that over three weeks of the shutdown, roughly 17 million Americans have found themselves unemployed through no fault of their own, according to Politico.
In spite of the dire economic situation, getting the economy going again is something that still hinges on a marked decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases.
The U.S. has entered the peak period for the coronavirus, the White House has said, according to Newsweek. This is the time in which the nation’s resources will be under the most strain, and when the most COVID-19-related deaths will occur.
Once this point has been cleared, serious efforts can be made to restart portions of the economy. There are many industries that get up and running again without presenting major risks of mass infections.
Fauci’s announcement about the overestimation of the coronavirus deaths casts doubts about many of the assumptions made during the early days of the pandemic. While social distancing measures were clearly necessary, did we go too far and do more damage than was needed to slow the effects of the virus? Only time will tell.