US COVID-19 death toll ‘will hit 200,000 in September’

A global public health expert from one of the world’s leading universities expects the US to reach 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 in September.

Dr Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute in Massachusetts, said it was “reasonable to expect” the US would reach the grim milestone in three months.

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The coronavirus has infected more than two million people overall in the US, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, 70,000 deaths have been recorded in Latin America.

China – the original epicentre of the coronavirus – has just 62 patients still being treated.


The total number of cases in the US surpassed two million late on Wednesday night with more than 112,900 deaths.

Dr Jha was asked to justify the 200,000 figure in an interview on CNN on Wednesday night.

“It’s not just a guess,” he said.

“Right now, we have between 800 and 1000 people dying every single day in America.

“All of the models, all of the data suggests that things are going to get worse, we’re going to have increases.

“But even if we assume it’s going to be flat all summer (June to August) … even if we pick that low number of 800 a day, that’s 25,000 a month.

“In three-and-a-half months, we’re going to add another 87,000-88,000 people, and we will hit 200,000 some time in September.”

He said the pandemic “won’t be over in September”, adding that he’s “really worried” about where the country will be in the weeks and months ahead.

Dr Jha rejected the suggestion from host Chris Cuomo that he wanted to “scare” people into staying home until the US presidential election in November.

“I don’t want people to stay home, that’s not what I’m trying to do,” he said.

Dr Jha said while case numbers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts were going down, they were going up in the states of Texas, Arizona, Florida and the Carolinas.

“The country is pretty flat,” he said.

There are currently more COVID-19 patients hospitalised in Texas and North Carolina than there were a month ago.

According to an average of 11 epidemiological models conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the US is expected to approach 130,000 by July 4 – Independence Day.


The COVID-19 death toll has soared to 70,000 in Latin America with Mexico recording its highest number of infections in one day on Wednesday.

But that hasn’t stopped the country’s Caribbean coast resorts of Cancun and Riviera Maya, in the state of Quintana Roo, welcoming their first tourists after months of lockdown.

Brazil remains Latin America’s most affected country with almost 40,000 fatalities, making it the third highest death toll in the world behind the US and UK.

In the region’s second biggest country, Mexico, health official Jose Luis Alomia reported a new daily record of 4883 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 708 additional fatalities.

The daily totals bring Mexico’s overall official count to 129,184 infections and 15,357 deaths.

During the same meeting on Wednesday, health undersecretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell, heading the pandemic response, warned that case predictions for the country had been expanded.

“We have close to 17 or 18 days in which the decline of the (epidemic) curve has stalled, (but) it has not gone up,” he said, explaining the country’s pattern of infections and deaths.

Lopez-Gatell told AFP on May 29 that Mexico would probably see more than 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, but did not say when the country could hit that milestone.

Mexico recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 deaths on June 3, at 1092.

But authorities explained the figure included updates to months-old cases.

A few dozen tourists showed up on Monday at the 41 hotels that have partly reopened on the Caribbean coast.

Hundreds of employees formed human welcoming chains at the Moon Palace resort south of Cancun as the first guests drove up to the lobby, where they were welcomed with mariachis.

Gibran Chapur, the vice president of the Palace resort chain, said some things will change due to the virus, like disinfecting all luggage and shoes.

He said buffets and paper menus at the resorts’ restaurants are probably a thing of the past.

To date, Quintana Roo has had about 2235 coronavirus cases and 427 deaths.

Tourism in the rest of Mexico, with a population of 127 million, will be reactivated according to local risk levels. It is one of the 10 most visited countries in the world and tourism accounts for 8.7 per cent of its GDP.


China has reported a small spike in imported confirmed cases of coronavirus to 11.

There were no new deaths or cases of local transmission in Thursday’s report.

Chinese officials say just 62 people remain in treatment for COVID-19.

In addition, 130 people are under observation and isolation for showing signs of the illness or testing positive for the virus without showing any symptoms, as a safeguard against them possibly spreading it to others.

China has reported a total of 4634 deaths from COVID-19 – a figure that hasn’t changed in weeks – among 83,057 cases recorded since the virus was first detected in the central industrial city of Wuhan late last year.

– With wires

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