On Tuesday, the death count of COVID-19 victims surpassed that of heart disease and cancer fatalities. 1970 people died on Tuesday from complications due to the novel coronavirus. As of Wednesday, the disease hovers within the top three causes of death in America, outpacing accidents, chronic lung disease and stroke by a significant margin.
According to a Newsweek report, COVID-19 kills on average one person in the U.S. every 45 seconds. 14,508 people in total have died across the country.
Despite a climbing death toll, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), recently projected that American deaths from COVID-19 will fall below previous estimates.
“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,” Fauci told Fox News on Wednesday. “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.”
A model from the University of Washington is currently estimating approximately 60,000 deaths in the U.S. before the coronavirus passes its peak infection rate.
In order to fall below the 100,000 to 200,000 death toll estimate, Fauci has cautioned Americans against full reintegration into normal daily life: “When you gradually come back, you don’t jump into it with both feet. You say what are the things you could still do and still approach normal. One of them is absolute compulsive hand washing. The other is you don’t ever shake anybody’s hands.”