This Is How Many More Americans the CDC Predicts Will Die by Mid-July

Brace yourself: These numbers are not looking good.

With coronavirus infection rates rising in some states and an American death toll of over 121,000 to date, you may be wondering: how much worse can this situation get? On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventino (CDC) released its answer to that very question, with updated projections for how many Americans they believe will die of the virus by this time next month. As the report reveals, we're far from being out of the woods: their national forecasts determined that we can expect anywhere between 8,000 and 26,000 new coronavirus deaths by July 11.

The report also summarized state-level forecasts and identified the areas that will need to be most vigilant in the coming four weeks. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah are all currently seeing spikes in infection rates, and are poised to exceed the number of deaths reported over the last four weeks. In other states, the number of new deaths will likely be similar to the previous four weeks, or decrease slightly.

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While some members of the public have questioned the protocol for counting coronavirus deaths, suggesting that numbers could be inflatedRobert Anderson, who runs the CDC's mortality statistics branch, has been quick to shut this down. As he recently told The New York Times, "Everything is so politically charged, people are looking for excuses to question the data." To this point, The Washington Post and The New York Times have recently published articles explaining that if anything, the tally of total deaths has likely been underreported.

All of this underscores the importance of staying the course with social distancing and other coronavirus precautions. "Many people are understandably fed up with being at home," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently said in a news conference. "Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and their economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible."

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Ultimately, we could be the deciding factor in how many lives are saved and whether our death count falls on the high or low end of the spectrum. So, keep wearing those masks, staying six feet apart, and washing your hands: this month alone, 26,000 lives depend on it. And finally there's a coronavirus strategy we can all get behind: here's the One Thing About Reopening That Most Democrats and Republicans Agree On.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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