The U.S. may see 200,000 deaths because of the coronavirus at some point in September, a leading expert said, while total U.S. coronavirus cases has surpassed 2 million as governments relax restrictions. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.
As states have eased restrictions and are gradually reopening – the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has now surpassed 2 million.
And one health expert, Harvard’s Ashish Jha, told CNN on Wednesday that without drastic action, the U.S. may see coronavirus-related deaths top 200,000 by September.
As of Wednesday, U.S. coronavirus-related deaths totaled over 112,000 – the highest death count of any country in the world.
Jha says that high number is directly tied to the fact the United States was the only major country to reopen without getting its case growth to a controlled level.
Nationwide, new infections are rising slightly after five weeks of declines, according to a Reuters analysis.
But certain states are seeing dramatic spikes: New Mexico, Utah and Arizona all saw increases of over 40 percent last week over the week before.
Some of the nationwide increase is due to more testing, which hit a record high on June 5… but health experts warn it’s also climbing as social distancing declines.
The Texas Tribune on Wednesday reported Texas hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations, a month after that state’s stay-at-home order expired and two weeks after Memorial Day saw a return to beaches and swimming pools.
Then – there are the recent nationwide protests for racial justice. Health officials are urging anyone who took part in the demonstrations to get tested, for fear the lack of social distancing could lead to another spike in cases.