US coronavirus: Herd immunity attempts would lead to massive death tolls - CNN


Published by CNN.COM

Summary generated on August 14, 2020


    If the United States allowed coronavirus infections to run rampant to achieve possible herd immunity, the death toll would be massive, especially among vulnerable people, the nation's top infectious doctor said.

    "If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms ... a lot of people are going to die," Fauci said.

    At least 167,298 people have died in the US from coronavirus, Johns Hopkins University reported Friday.

    "You look at the United States of America, with our epidemic of obesity as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes. If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable," Fauci said.

    Doctors would be overwhelmed and more people would die, not just from the coronavirus but from other infections, too.

    California became the first state to top 600,000 cases.

    The White House Coronavirus Task Force blasted Georgia for its rising infection rates and urged the state to adopt a mask mandate, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    "You can't run away from the numbers of people who've died, the number of people getting hospitalized, the surges we're seeing."Dr. Tom Inglesby of Johns Hopkins said on CNN on Friday, "It's doing very substantial damage to the country," urging continued use of face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing.

    The new projections released Thursday forecast 188,982 deaths by September 5 - with a possible range of 181,375 to 201,431 deaths.

    "State- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Colorado and may decrease in Arizona, the Northern Mariana Islands, Vermont and Wyoming," the CDC said.

    Unlike some individual models, the CDC's ensemble forecast offers projections only about a month ahead. A previous ensemble forecast, published July 23, projected roughly 164,477 coronavirus deaths by Saturday.

    The state reported 136 deaths Tuesday - its most in a single day - and an additional 109 deaths Wednesday, according to health officials.

    The virus has killed a total of 4,538 people in the state.

    The number has gone down to 1,823,283 from 2,044,727, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state's top health official.

    The error was due to a discrepancy between electronic and manual reporting of test data submitted by the company LabCorp. The error affected the overall number of tests previously reported but it does not change the total confirmed positive cases, the total deaths or the percent positive calculation, the department of health said.

    In a sign the virus may be around for a while, Kansas City, Missouri, is extending its coronavirus state of emergency into the beginning of next year.

    Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, emphasized the need for coronavirus mitigation measures during the Labor Day weekend.

    He urged people to avoid crowds - particularly in indoor spaces.

    "We talk about bars, but if you have a house party with a hundred people in your living room, that's the same equivalent," he said.

    He described a crowd of people indoors, drinking, talking and not wearing masks as a formula for disaster.