An Indian American health expert from the Harvard Global Health Institute believes the COVID-19-related death toll in the U.S. will nearly double by September.
In a CNN report, Dr. Ashish Jha, the director at Harvard’s Global Health Institute, estimates another 100,000 Americans will die from the coronavirus by the fall.
"I think right now, most Americans are not ready to lock back down, and I completely understand that,” Jha told CNN’s Kate Bolduan June 10.
“Here's the bottom line, though, which is that – I understand people are willing to live alongside this virus,” Jha continued. “It means that between 800 and 1,000 Americans are going to die every single day. We're going to get another 100,000 deaths by September ... we really do have to try to figure out how to bring the caseloads down from these scary levels, in some states."
Jha last month said in a videoconference with India’s Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that the world is “entering an age of pandemics. I am confident that this is not the last global pandemic you and I are going to see in the next 20 years,” according to an IANS report.
“I think that, I think climate change is going to make many of these things all the more worse. Then, of course, the other things that has happened with economic growth is that people are eating a lot more meat and so that also means more interactions between humans and animals," Jha pointed out to Gandhi.
The Harvard professor said that life will look nothing like from five years ago. "It's not hard to predict. But it is not faded. Meaning, we have a lot of influence over what life will look like in five years," he added.
During the conversation, Rahul Gandhi said that the world power equilibrium will change after the pandemic.
"I think it is going to reshape Europe. Many people won't like what I say, but I think Europe will have a real, real difficulty staying together. I think the balance of power between the U.S. and China will change. People say that 9/11 (World Trade Centre attack) was a new chapter. This is a new book," the Congress leader remarked, according to the IANS report.
Jha did say that lockdown should not be the goal, however.
"Lockdown buys you time, but lockdown is not the goal unto itself. You can use that time to prepare a really fabulous testing, tracing, isolation infrastructure. You want to use that time to communicate with people," said Jha in the IANS report.
The Harvard professor said that life will be very different when lockdown ends.
"This is not about going back to what life was like last May or June. That life over the next 6-12-18 months is going to look very different. And it really is about planning all of that out. So it's not just communication, but really thinking through, what will public transportation look like? Who will go back to work. What will schools do. There is a lot of work you want to be doing during the lockdown," he said in the report.
The U.S. surpassed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases June 10 as new hotspots emerge and hospitalizations go up in some states, the CNN report said.
More than 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The spike in numbers highlights how complicated it is to stop the spread of the virus despite early hotspots such as New York and New Jersey seeing improved numbers, the report said.
Since Memorial Day, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations has gone up in at least a dozen states, according to data CNN aggregated from the Covid Tracking Project between May 25 to June 9.
They are Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. An additional 22 states are trending downward while nine others are holding steady, the media outlet noted.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts between 118,000 and 143,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. by June 27.