The US has so far seen the highest deaths from the virus worldwide, with 138,267 as of July 17. The country has also seen the highest number of cases, at 3,563,848 according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Previous models for coronavirus deaths in the US from the University of Washington predicted 74,000 would die from the virus by August.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has updated it’s predicted November death toll from coronavirus to a shockingly high 224,000.
The last update from the university’s model in June predicted around 16,000 less deaths by the same date.
According to IHME, the surge in predicted deaths is due to “rising mobility and premature relaxation of social distancing in some states are the main reasons” for the projected climb in deaths.
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Dr. Christopher Murray, director at the IHME, explained the rising death predictions at a June 11 press briefing, before the institute updated their death toll model again last night.
He said: “Starting in the third week of August in our forecast at the national level, we see the daily death rate going up again, after having been declining since mid-April at the national level.
“That increase in daily deaths really starts to gather momentum from mid-September onwards.
“What’s underlying that is two factors: The steady rise in contact rates, steady rise in mobility, and the likely continued relaxation of mandates over the course of the summer.
“Combined with the increasingly clear signal that seasonality is important.”
However, IHME also suggested that widespread usage of face masks could save thousands of lives in the US.
If 95 percent of people wore face masks in public, the model predicts that the death toll would be slashed to 163,000 saving around 100,000 lives.
But Mr Murray warned on Tuesday that widespread usage of face masks would only come from states making them mandatory.
He added: “Mask mandates delay the need for re-imposing closures of businesses and have huge economic benefits.
“Moreover, those who refuse masks are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk.”
It comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has urged young American’s to take the pandemic seriously.
In an interview with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, he said: “You have to have responsibility for yourself but also a societal responsibility that you’re getting infected is not just you in a vacuum.
“You’re propagating the pandemic.”
Dr Fauci also revealed that the average age of COVID-19 patients had dropped by 15 years since the start of the pandemic.