The United States could soon reach the grim milestone of 200,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, according to one expert.
As the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to rise, Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and member of President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, told CNN on Monday the country may see 200,000 cases in one day within the next few weeks.
"We are watching cases increase substantially in this country far beyond, I think, what most people ever thought could happen," Osterholm said. "It will not surprise me if in the next weeks we see over 200,000 new cases a day."
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Earlier this month, the U.S. reported 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day for the first time, a milestone Dr. Anthony Fauci previously said he would "not be surprised" to see reached. On Monday, the nation's seven-day average of new cases was about 119,000, which was "more than three times higher than it was around mid-September," CNN reports.
Additionally, according to CNN, the U.S. reported over 1,000 COVID-19 deaths last week five days in a row for the first time since August. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, writes that "simple math says that we are likely to have 3,000 deaths a day in 4 to 5 weeks," although he adds, "I suspect we might do a bit better."
Experts continue to stress that widespread mask use could bring the coronavirus death toll down, however, and a recent study estimated that if 95 percent of Americans wore masks in public, almost 130,000 lives could be saved.
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