The situation in the U.S. isn't getting better even though the Coronavirus pandemic is in its eighth month in the country. With more than 4.7 million infected and over 150,000 dead, the U.S. is the worse hit country. Now, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a grim prediction. More than 20,000 Americans could die in the next three weeks as per the agency.
In its ensemble forecast, the CDC has said that the death toll will reach 173,270 by August 22 with a range of 167,692 to 182,366. The CDC's model only shows projections for a month in the future. In its previous prediction, the agency showed about 164,000 could die COVID-19 by August 15.
"State-level ensemble forecasts predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Washington," the CDC said.
Spikes in Cases Across US
The CDC's projection is an average of 34 individual prediction models including the Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Army. Across the U.S., several states are facing fresh spikes in new cases after easing of restrictions.
Leaders across those U.S. states have warned the residents of letting their guards down and urged them to wear masks in public areas. Some states in the South are already daily highs while states in the Midwest are reporting spikes in positive cases.
In New Jersey, despite the state reporting zero deaths in the 24 hours for the first time since early March, the state reported an increase in the average number of daily cases. Governor Phil Murphy warned residents of the "dangerous situation".
"We are standing in a very dangerous place. Everyone who walks around refusing to wear a mask or who hosts an indoor house party or who overstuffs a boat is directly contributing to these increases. This has to stop and it has to stop now," he said, acknowledging the "extraordinary milestone, as CNN reported.
Trump Opposes Another Lockdown
However, despite the surge in cases, U.S. President Donald Trump remains adamant in not imposing another lockdown. He said that a "blanket shutdown" is not an option at this point. He instead has proposed protecting the vulnerable individuals while urging the individuals with lower risk to return to work and school with precautions.
While even Dr Anthony Fauci has said that another lockdown could be avoided if people take precautions such as wearing a mask, face shield and avoid social gatherings, in many states, individuals, especially young ones, continue to disregard the idea.
Wearing a mask or face coverings has been made mandatory in 39 U.S. states but in the rest, it's not made compulsory. Experts believe to stop the spread, more than 90 percent of the population must wear a mask. But the current level is way below that number.
"We're getting close to about 55 percent of Americans wearing a mask. That's good news, but of course, it's a long way to go before we get to the levels as Singapore has at 95 percent, which would really save a lot of lives in this country," said Dr Chris Murray of the University of Washington.