Congressional doctor estimates 150 million U.S. citizens to contract coronavirus
More than than 1,000 people have contracted COVID-19 in the United States, but the projections for the disease far outpace that. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress and the Supreme Court, thinks that 70 million to 150 million in U.S. will contract coronavirus.
Sources tell NBC News that in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, March 11, 2020, Monahan briefed Senate staff on the predictions. Despite the seemingly astronomical numbers, Monahan stated that 80 percent of those who contract the coronavirus will be fine.
Although no Senators attended the meeting, Monahan briefed administrative staff and personnel from both parties and advised that Senators stop shaking hands, avoid unneccesary international travel, but advised that domestic travel for Senators was okay. However, coronavirus news escalates and changes rapidly and in light of the World Health Organization calling the coronavirus a “pandemic,” The Washington Post reports that the White House is considering moving all of Europe to a Level 3 travel advisory, discouraging all nonessential travel to those regions.
Trump will reportedly address the nation tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern and although he’s spoken informally about the virus, to much confusion, tonight’s address is supposed to take place in the Oval Office, underscoring the seriousness of the spreading virus. The Hill’s sources added that the administration is considering calling it a national emergency declaration to free up additional resources to fight the coronavirus. Trump also tweeted (via The Hill) that he is “fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with” the the virus.
Additionally, the CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Jay Butler, will answer questions about coronavirus this Friday, March 13, 2020 on Twitter.
Currently, there are 124,000 coronavirus cases worldwide and the cases spread rapidly. For example, The Atlantic pointed out that China’s Hubei province had 444 confirmed COVID-19 cases on January 23, 2020. A week later, it had 4,903 cases. Another week later, 22,112 cases.
Many states have already canceled college classes, closed schools, and banned large previously-planned gatherings. Additionally, governments are asking citizens to avoid large gatherings and encouraging businesses to pivot to telework. Hopefully tonight’s address will assuage fears and clarify best practices to slow the spread, but until then, social distancing practices are encouraged.