Expected Coronavirus Mortality Rate in the U.S. Is 1 Percent

According to reliable estimates, coronavirus could lead to 1.5 million deaths in the U.S.

President Donald Trump is addressing the nation at 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon amid multiple reports that he will declare a state of national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. But as the novel virus spreads and panic grows along with it, a look at the numbers indicates that the estimated coronavirus deaths are serious cause for concern.

The virus hit the U.S. weeks ago, but within the last week, coronavirus has officially been upgraded to a global pandemic. On Tuesday, there was a closed-door meeting that included Senate administrative office staff members and personnel from both political parties, NBC News reported. There, Brian Monahan, MD—attending physician of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court—said that he expects 70 million to 150 million people in the U.S. will become infected with COVID-19.

Even if 150 million Americans contract coronavirus, the vast majority will almost certainly survive. But it's those who are particularly susceptible—the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and those with compromised immune systems—who have cause for concern.

It's impossible to know the exact mortality rate of coronavirus at this early stage of the pandemic, and the very high numbers of 4 percent are likely to come down significantly as more tests are administered and as we learn more.

However, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony Fauci, MD, has warned that his best estimate indicates a mortality rate of 10 times that of the seasonal flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu's mortality rate is 0.1 percent, putting coronavirus' at 1 percent, by Fauci's estimates.

So, if 1 percent of 150 million Americans infected with coronavirus die, that's 1.5 million coronavirus deaths.

That said, the cessation and suspension of large crowd events will likely slow down or abate the spread of coronavirus. And with so much still unknown, these numbers could very well be overzealous. But, as impossible as it may seem, they could also be optimistic as well.

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