Topline

President-elect Joe Biden said another 250,000 Americans could die of coronavirus between now and January, a higher forecast than previously given by health officials as the country faces rises in new infections and hospitalizations.

Key Facts

During a virtual roundtable Wednesday with small business owners, Biden warned December could be the hardest time of the pandemic yet.

“We’re likely to lose another 250,000 people dead between now and January,” Biden said.

He urged Americans to refrain from traveling for Christmas, saying even “with all the trouble you’re going through, you cannot be traveling during these holidays, as much as you want to.”

He also revealed that this year for Thanksgiving, the Biden family held a toned-down celebration: Biden only met with his wife, daughter and son-in-law who live near him in-person, while the rest of the family was connected through Zoom.

“Christmas is going to be a lot harder,” the president-elect said. “I don’t want to scare anybody here, but understand the facts.”

On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield projected 200,000 more coronavirus deaths in December.

Key Background

More than 13.8 million Americans have tested positive for coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, while more than 272,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of hospitalized Americans with coronavirus is expected to exceed 100,000 this week. On Wednesday, Redfield said the U.S. could see 450,000 deaths over the next three months, saying “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.” Former Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted Sunday that by the end of the month, 30% of Americans will likely have been infected with coronavirus at some point. 

Further Reading

CDC Director: Winter Could Bring 200,000 Deaths, ‘Most Difficult’ Period Of US’s Public Health History (Forbes)

Gottlieb Estimates 30% Of Americans Will Have Had Coronavirus By The Year’s End (Forbes)

Avoid Holiday Travel Or Get Tested Twice For Covid-19, CDC Says (Forbes)

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