The US has now hit the unwanted milestone of 2-million coronavirus infections. This is according to figures from both the John Hopkins University and Reuters news agency.
A report by broadcaster CNN says experts are “making a chilling prediction that tens of thousands more people will get infected and die in the coming months”.
Deaths in the country from COVID-19 are now close to 113 000 people and a stark rise could be on the cards.
Many more deaths likely, but predictions vary
According to the New York Post, a model cited by the White House indicates that the US coronavirus death toll could reach 169 890 by October 1, with a possible range between 133 000 and 290 000 deaths.
The model predicts that daily deaths would decrease through June and July, remain relatively stable through August and then spike again in September.
Meanwhile, Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, told CNN that he predicted the US would suffer another 100 000 deaths by September, which he said was a “catastrophic cost”.
“It means that between 800 and 1000 Americans are going to die every single day. We really do have to try to figure out how to bring the caseloads down from these scary levels.”
Infection rates are on the rise again
After five weeks of declines, the Reuters analysis indicates that infection rates are now on the increase. This could be partially due to more testing and, nationally, 21-million tests have been carried out so far.
“Recent increases in cases are likely a result of more people moving about and resuming some business and pleasure activities as all 50 states gradually reopen,” ABC News reported.
“Huge nationwide protests with no social distancing prompted by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police could lead to another spike in cases in coming weeks.”
Public is not in favour of another lockdown
Despite these figures, Americans will likely be unwilling to endure another lockdown.
“I think right now, most Americans are not ready to lock back down and I completely understand that,” Dr Jha said. “I understand people are willing to live alongside this virus.”