The U.S. could see between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths and millions of sick patients from the coronavirus pandemic, according to “fluid” projections offered by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci was on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, speaking to the possibility that the U.S. could see a dramatic rise in cases. But Fauci, one of the federal government’s leading experts in handling the pandemic, also warned that “we don’t really have any firm idea” and worst-case scenario models tend to overshoot — so he didn’t “really want to be held” to the estimate he gave.
“I just don’t think we need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target that you could so easily be wrong and mislead people,” Fauci said.
The country currently has about 125,000 cases— although testing is limited nationwide, so that number is widely considered to be an undercount — and close to 2,200 deaths.
Nearly 700 people have died in New York City alone. More than half of the nation’s new cases are currently coming from the city of 8.6 million.
And states like Louisiana and Michigan are currently considered emerging hotspots due to their fast-growing caseload. The states have recorded more than 3,300 cases and 4,600 cases, respectively.
However, Fauci also said that President Donald Trump was no longer considering a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — despite its increasing caseload — and had instead issued a travel advisory for the region surrounding New York City.
"What you don't want is people traveling from that area to other areas of the country and inadvertently and innocently infecting other individuals," Fauci told CNN. "We felt the better way to do this would be an advisory as opposed to a very strict quarantine. And the president agreed, and that's why he made that determination last night."
Cover: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)