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CDC, Epidemic Experts Plot ‘Worst Case’ COVID-19 Scenarios

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

“Between 160 million and 214 million people in the U.S. could be infected over the course of the epidemic,” according to one of four scenarios from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The New York Times reported Friday.

“That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 or 1.7 million people could die,” The Times said.

The scenarios were created by CDC officials and epidemic experts from universities around the world.

Estimated 2.4 Million to 21 Million People in the U.S. Could Require Hospitalization

Calculations by The Times based on the scenarios “suggested 2.4 million to 21 million people in the U.S. could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system.” But there are only 925,000 staffed hospital beds in the nation and fewer “than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill.”

According to the American Hospital Association, there were 6,146 hospitals in the U.S. in 2018 and 36 million admissions, when the AHA survey was taken.

On the “Morning Joe” TV program today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: “Obviously what you’re going to see is an acceleration of cases … Things are going to get worse before they get better.”

Businesses and Individuals Are Beginning to Take Steps to Slow Transmission

However, all is not lost. The Times added that “The assumptions fueling those scenarios are mitigated by the fact that cities, states, businesses and individuals are beginning to take steps to slow transmission, even if some are acting less aggressively than others.”

At the same time, the CDC is leading an effort to develop “more sophisticated models showing how interventions might decrease the worst-case numbers, though their projections have not been made public.”

Just this week the Food and Drug Administration approved an emergency new coronavirus test to accelerate screening in the U.S.

Covid-19 does not discriminate when it comes to infecting people. According to the Associated Press “The virus edged ever closer to the world’s power centers, with positive tests for the Canadian prime minister’s wife, a top aide to Iran’s supreme leader, a Brazilian official who met with President Donald Trump, and an Australian Cabinet minister who met with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.”

Earlier in the week, New York’s top transportation official tested positive for COVID-19, and movie icon Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have placed themselves in voluntary quarantine after testing positive for the virus while Hanks was filming a new Elvis biopic movie in Australia.

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David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies.

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