CNN’s Anderson Cooper, chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases. CNN
Anderson Cooper and CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, hosted a Coronavirus: Facts and Fears Town Hall on Saturday with former directors of the U.S. Centers for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health professionals.
Here are the highlights:
US Covid-19 cases are expected to increase: According to Dr. Chris Murray, a researcher behind an influential University of Washington coronavirus model, the US could see nearly 400,000 coronavirus-related deaths by Feb.1. Daily deaths are likely to peak in mid-January, he said.
In the US, 40 million people could be infected: Coronavirus infections in the US are likely much higher than the 7.6 million so far recorded by Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project, said Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US CDC. “It is almost certain that more than 40 million people in the US have been infected with this virus.”
20,000 people could die by the end of the month: Dr. Peace also predicted that with the current spike in cases, an additional 20,000 people in the U.S. could die from the virus by the end of the month. “Because of the infections that have already occurred, we will see about 20,000 deaths by the end of the month – additional deaths,” he said.
True U.S. coronavirus death toll over 250,000: Frieden suggested the actual number of coronavirus deaths in the United States is well over 250,000. He said much of the confusion about the death rate from Covid-19 is the result of the way deaths are listed on death certificates.
Hope about vaccine: Dr. David Satcher, a former CDC director, hopes a Covid-19 vaccine “can make a difference”. He said, “I don’t think we’re about to return … We are pursuing some important things about new vaccines. There is a lot of hope that we can develop a vaccine that can make a difference.”
Transparency is key for vaccines: If the government wants more Americans to take a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one becomes available it needs to start telling the truth and being consistent, said Dr. Julie Gerberding. “It’s about regaining trust, and trust depends primarily on telling the truth, even when it’s difficult,” she said.