Incoming CDC Director Expects Over 100,000 US COVID-19 Deaths in Next Month

Incoming CDC Director Expects Over 100,000 US COVID-19 Deaths in Next Month
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Centers for Disease Control, speaks during a news conference at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 8, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

More than 100,000 more Americans will die from COVID-19 over about the next month, the next director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts.

“By the middle of February, we expect half a million deaths in this country,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who President-elect Joe Biden has tapped for the position, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Jan. 17.

“That doesn’t speak to the tens of thousands of people who are living with a yet uncharacterized syndrome after they’ve recovered. And we still yet haven’t seen the ramifications of what happened from the holiday travel, from holiday gathering, in terms of high rates of hospitalizations and the deaths thereafter.

“So, yes, I think we still have some dark weeks ahead,” she added.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. The virus primarily causes severe illness for the elderly and those with serious underlying health conditions. Most people who get it recover, but a small percentage of patients die.
According to data collated by Johns Hopkins University, the United States has in some recent days seen more than 4,000 daily deaths from COVID-19. The university has pegged the nation’s death toll at 397,600 as of Jan. 18; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the toll slightly lower, at 394,495.

Biden’s incoming chief of staff Ron Klain also said on Jan. 17 he expects the United States will hit 500,000 deaths in the month of February.

“People who are contracting the virus today will start to get sick next month and will add to the death toll in late February, even March. So, it’s going to take a while to turn this around,” he said.

“The virus is the virus. What we can do is act to control it. And that means getting these vaccinations moving. It means getting help to state and local governments to help reopen schools safely, to give people the protective gear they need, and to really ramp up testing. We have laid out our plans to do this. That’s what we’re focused on.”

Klain was speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.”