Americans must anticipate that there could be between 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from coronavirus, but "we shouldn't give up and accept it," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Thursday.
"It's within our power to modify those numbers," Fauci said on "CBS This Morning." Those numbers you heard the other day that Dr. (Deborah) Birx and I mentioned from the White House press conference were numbers based on a model, you model what the projection might be."
The projection given earlier this week showed that even with "considerable mitigation," one could anticipate the high number of deaths, Fauci said.
But, he added, "if you really push hard on mitigation and data comes in to tell you you're doing better than the model, you can modify the model...we need to push and push with the mitigation to try and get that number lower than the projected number by the model."
There are also varying situations that must come under consideration, Fauci said.
"One is you look at the curve of the new infections of the people who get hospitalized and the deaths," said Fauci. "We're going to be instituting tests that can actually show how many people in the population have been infected."
On NBC's "Today," Fauci told host Savannah Guthrie that social distancing is difficult, but "we're having a lot of suffering, a lot of death."
"This is inconvenient from an economic and personal standpoint, but we just have to do it," Fauci said, while noting that President Donald Trump's 30-day guidelines are "essentially" a nationwide stay-at-home order. "This is our major weapon against this virus right now. We don't have a vaccine that's deployable. This is the only thing we have, and we can get through it if everybody really leans forward and pushes on this."
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