Incoming CDC director expects 500,000 coronavirus deaths by mid-February

Source: The Hill | January 17, 2021 | Justine Coleman

The incoming Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director said Sunday that she expects the U.S. will reach 500,000 COVID-19 deaths by mid-February.

Rochelle Walensky, President-elect Joe Biden’s named CDC director, told CBS News’ “Face The Nation” that she “unfortunately” agrees with outgoing CDC Director Robert Redfield that the pandemic is going to get worse.

She noted the U.S. has reached nearly 4,000 deaths a day and almost 400,000 coronavirus deaths total.

“By the middle of February we expect half a million deaths in this country,” she said.

Walensky emphasized that those numbers do not account for the “tens of thousands” of people who recovered from COVID-19 but have an “uncharacterized syndrome.” She also said the U.S. has not yet seen “the ramifications of what happened from the holiday travel,” which the incoming director said will lead to “high rates of hospitalizations and deaths thereafter.”

“I think we still have some dark weeks ahead,” she said.

The U.S. has counted more than 23.8 million COVID-19 cases and 397,252 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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