Projections show new deaths from COVID-19 to 295,000 by December 1st

IHME projects 300K COVID-19 deaths by December

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Grim new projections from the University of Washington Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluations. The research group projected the United States could see almost 300,000 deaths by December.

IHME projects another 137,000 people will die from COVID-19 between now and December first. That would be on top of the 160,000 deaths now. If that happens COVID would be the third leading cause of death in this country.

IHME continues to look at the number of confirmed cases and deaths across the country. They are are alarmed at the high spread rate in some states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona.

“What we have shown right now between now and December first, we are projecting 295,000 deaths unfortunately,” Dr. Ali Mokdad with IHME said.

Why the big increase? Dr Mokdad said it comes down to the commitment of wearing masks. “We are seeing this roller coaster in the United States. As cases go up they start behaving better as it comes down unfortunately people start behaving badly and it goes up again,” Mokdad said.

Public health experts said the answer is simple. Wear masks. The IHME estimates 95% compliance could save thousands of lives. A UAB infectious disease doctor agreed.

“we could save 70,000 lives that’s more people who died in the entire Vietnam war that’s how many deaths that is. Let’s do it. Let’s make it happen,” Dr. Michael Saag said.

If states let up masks and other health mandates, orders to shutdown may have to made again.

“If we are not successful in having all of us working together doing the things we need to do to bring this under control, we will be heading back to shelter at home because there won’t be any other choice,” Saag said.

The IHME believes states like Arizona, Florida and Texas may need to shutdown some businesses in August while Alabama could be looking at a shutdown in November around the 20th.

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