An additional 20,000 Covid-19 deaths by the end of the month are “inevitable,” according to a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“From the infections that have already occurred, we will see something like 20,000 deaths by the end of the month -- additional deaths,” Dr. Tom Frieden said Saturday, during CNN’s Coronavirus: Facts and Fears town hall.
“Anytime we ignore, minimize or underestimate this virus, we do so at our peril and the peril of people whose lives depend on us,” Frieden said. “If you look around the world, the parts of the world -- and even the parts of the US -- that have been guided by public health and have supported public health have done better,” he said.
Fellow former CDC Director Dr. Richard Besser noted that projections aren’t set in stone.
“What we do matters. And if we follow the lead of public health, if we follow the lead of CDC and do the things that are working around the globe, in terms of wearing masks and social distancing and washing hands and investigating cases -- ensuring people have what they need to isolate and quarantine -- that we can have a very different trajectory and we can get this in control,” Besser said.
“The political messaging and the public messaging have to be one and the same,” he said.
As of Saturday night, more than 214,000 Americans have died of Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.