Incoming CDC Director Says US Will Likely Reach 500,000 Deaths by February

Incoming CDC Director Says US Will Likely Reach 500,000 Deaths by February Incoming CDC Director Says US Will Likely Reach 500,000 Deaths by February Pharmacist Brian Meyer gives Hannah Horick the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 at Sunflower Pharmacy in Odessa, Texas. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)

By Solange Reyner | Sunday, 17 January 2021 07:45 PM

Incoming CDC Director Rochelle Wallensky says the U.S. will likely reach 500,000 deaths by mid-February.

“Unfortunately, I do, I think that, you know, we've- we've, as you noted, nearly 4,000 deaths a day, almost 400,000 deaths total. By the middle of February, we expect half a million deaths in this country,” Wallensky said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” when asked by host Margaret Brennan whether she agreed with outgoing CDC Director Robert Redfield on his forecasted death count.

“That doesn't speak to the tens of thousands of people who are living with a yet uncharacterized syndrome after they've been recovered- after they've recovered. And we still yet haven't seen the ramifications of what happened from the holiday travel, from holiday gathering in terms of high rates of hospitalizations and the deaths thereafter. So, yes, I- I think we still have some dark weeks ahead.”

Nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 and 23.9 million have been infected.

A recent coronavirus projection from the University of Washington estimates more than 566,000 deaths in the U.S. by May 1.