Louis-Armstrong

US Coronavirus Deaths May Double After Thanksgiving Holiday, Expert Says

KEY POINTS

  • The U.S. may see 4,000 daily coronavirus deaths in the next ten days
  • Coronavirus-related hospitalization hit a new record for the 16th consecutive day
  • Public health officials advise Americans against traveling during the holiday

Public health experts warn that coronavirus-related deaths in the United States could double after Thanksgiving as Americans continue to gather for the holiday despite health warnings.

The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have hit record highs leading up to the holiday, as Americans travel back home to celebrate Thanksgiving. The country has recorded an average of 176,000 new cases per day over the past week. Authorities have also recorded 2,200 deaths on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, predicted Wednesday that daily coronavirus deaths could double and reach 4,000 in the next 10 days. 

“When you look at people who are hospitalized today, they were infected two weeks ago, maybe more. So, it takes about five to seven days to become symptomatic. I expect that the daily death rate will double in the next 10 days. We’ll be seeing close to 4,000 deaths a day,” Reiner told CNN. 

Public health officials have urged Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving with members of the same household or outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also advised against traveling during the holiday to prevent a translocation of the infection. 

“Right now, as we’re seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time,” said CDC COVID-19 incident manager Dr. Henry Walke, ABC News reported.

Hospitalizations in the U.S. hit a record high for the 16th straight day on Thursday, with close to 90,000 coronavirus patients in medical centers across the nation, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Coronavirus infections have begun to level off in the Midwest. However, both coasts and the Southwest have seen new outbreaks, prompting officials to impose new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, the New York Times reported. 

White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday made a plea to Americans to forgo traveling and prevent spreading the coronavirus. He also said his daughters refused to travel home for the holidays to protect him from the virus.

“We all know how difficult that is because this is such a beautiful, traditional holiday. But by making that sacrifice, you’re going to prevent people from getting infected,” Fauci told ABC News.

“If we can just hang in there a bit longer and continue to do the simple mitigation things that we’re talking about all the time — the masks, the distancing, the avoiding crowds, particularly indoors. If we do those things, we’re going to get through it,” he added.

Medical workers arrive at a hospital in Naples in an ambulance with a COVID-19 patient Medical workers arrive at a hospital in Naples in an ambulance with a COVID-19 patient Photo: AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE

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