Up to 70 percent of Germans may get the coronavirus, Angela Merkel says

Angela Merkel.
(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is warning that a majority of the country's population may become infected with the novel coronavirus.

Merkel said Wednesday that "we have to understand that many people will be infected" by the new COVID-19 coronavirus and that "the consensus among experts is that 60 to 70 percent of the population will be infected," The New York Times reports. More than 1,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Germany.

Meanwhile, as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States passes 1,000, The Daily Beast reports that a former White House public-health official who works in the pharmaceutical industry recently told Republican members of Congress that most Americans will likely be eventually exposed to the coronavirus, although the Beast notes that not everyone exposed to it will become infected, and this view is in dispute. One member of Congress, though, described the assessment as "sobering."

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On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to lawmakers at a House Oversight Committee hearing, and when asked if the worst is yet to come in the coronavirus outbreak responded, "yes," per CNN's Jim Acosta.

"Bottom line," he said, "it's going to get worse."

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