Millions of Americans will be infected by the coronavirus before the crisis is over and 100,000 to 200,000 could die, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s State of the Union that computer models generally overestimate the final numbers, but that “we are going to have millions of cases.”
Fauci sought to clarify his earlier remarks at the afternoon briefing, saying the numbers he provided were based on models examining the impact of the disease. However, he pointed out the possibility of 100,000 to 200,000 deaths hinged on limited measures being taken to reduce the spread of the disease.
“What we’re trying to do is not let that happen.” Fauci said. “So instead concentrating on the upper and the lower (estimates), we’re saying we’re trying to push it all the way down.
“We feel that the mitigation that we are doing is having an effect. It’s very difficult to quantitate it because you have two dynamics things going on at the same time. You have the virus going up and the mitigation trying to push it down.”
EasyJet, one of Europe’s largest airlines, said it has grounded all aircraft due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, EasyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft,” the airline said in a statement Monday morning. “At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights. We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a limited emergency-use authorization for two antimalarial drugs to treat those infected with the novel coronavirus.
In a statement released Sunday night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it had received 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and one million doses of hloroquine phosphate donated to a national stockpile of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are oral prescription drugs used primarily to prevent and treat malaria, are both being investigated as potential therapeutics for COVID-19.
The statement noted that the FDA had issued an emergency-use authorization to allow both donated drugs “to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”
Federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, are working together to plan clinical trials.