The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

White House task force projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in U.S., even with mitigation efforts

Meet two families associated with the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Wash. As one family copes with their loss, the other visits their mother through a window. (Video: Alyse Young/The Washington Post)
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The White House coronavirus task force on Tuesday presented a grim picture of where the U.S. could be heading over the next couple of months, even with interventions like physical distancing. The task force projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the virus, with mitigation.

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The death toll in the U.S. grew by more than 800 on Tuesday, surpassing 3,700. Confirmed cases worldwide is more than 800,000.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Deborah Birx and Anthony S. Fauci, the leaders of the White House task force, emphasized that although the projection of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths were likely, they were hopeful that they could prevent such a high number by adhering to strict mitigation protocols.
  • Memos between the White House and the CDC show federal officials are debating whether to recommend that face coverings be routinely worn in public because of increasing evidence that people who are asymptomatic can spread the virus.
  • Louisiana reported by far its largest number of new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period Tuesday afternoon, with infections and deaths each jumping about 30 percent. Total known infections in the state hit 5,237 and deaths were up to 239 on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Three senior Senate Democrats asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to honor the terms of the coronavirus law enacted last week, expressing alarm that President Trump took a step to curb the program’s oversight and pressing to “without delay” nominate a new inspector general to oversee and probe the funding.
  • A new report by the CDC shows people of any age with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk if they contract the virus, including people with heart and lung disease, diabetes and even current or former smokers.

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