Coronavirus could claim 200,000 American lives
The coronavirus outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, the US government's top infectious-disease expert warned on Sunday as smouldering hotspots in nursing homes and a growing list of stricken cities heightened the sense of dread across the country.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the dire prediction of fatalities on CNN's State of the Union, adding that millions in the US could become infected.
By midday, the US had about 125,000 infections and 2,200 deaths, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, though the true number of cases is thought to be considerably higher because of testing shortages and mild illnesses that have gone unrecognized or unreported.
Worldwide, the count approached 700,000 infections, and deaths topped 32,000. World Health Organisation figures showed the daily increase in new infections was eclipsing 70,000, up from about 50,000 earlier in the week, and more than six times what it was two weeks ago.
New York State - where the death toll closed in on 1,000, up by more than 200 from the day before - remained the epicentre of the US outbreak, but spikes in infections were recorded around the country, not only in metropolitan areas but in Midwestern towns and Rocky Mountain ski havens.