America's COVID Deaths May Be Equivalent to a 9/11 Every Day by Christmas
Dec 02, 2020 1 min, 39 secs
and Thanksgiving celebrations expected to have given the coronavirus more opportunities to spread, experts fear the country will soon experience a record number of deaths from the disease—something equivalent to the 2,977 people killed on 9/11 per day—by Christmas.

On average in the past week, 1,469 people died of COVID each day.

But after the country smashed records for new cases and hospitalizations in November and some people dismissed CDC advice to celebrate Thanksgiving with people outside their households, experts told Newsweek they fear the spring's highs for fatalities will soon be surpassed.

The CDC, which pools data from a number of models to create what is known as an ensemble forecast, sets its mid-range estimate for COVID deaths per day by December 19 at around 2,200, and its higher range at just over 3,000.

Jennifer Dowd, associate professor of demography and population health at the University of Oxford, told Newsweek she believes the higher-end estimates are more realistic as the models do not explicitly incorporate people meeting during Thanksgiving.

He told Newsweek: "Unfortunately, we can very likely hit 3,000 deaths per day by the end of the year if we continue at the current trajectory...

Lauren Ancel Meyers, professor at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and director of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, also drawn on by the CDC, told Newsweek her team are projecting somewhere between 1,500 to over 3,000 people will die from COVID-19 each day, but said the number could be "even higher" if Thanksgiving causes a spike in transmissions.

Jeffrey Shaman, professor in environmental health sciences who is also working on a COVID model used by the CDC, told Newsweek his team are not projecting 3,000 deaths per day, "but it is not outside the realm of possibility.".

Dowd gave the caveat that there are a few countervailing forces that make it hard to predict death rates, including the larger numbers of young people, who are less likely to die of COVID, catching the coronavirus compared to the start of the pandemic.

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