File photo: Agencies
WASHINGTON, July 7 (Xinhua) -- A new model from the University of Washington projected on Tuesday that U.S. COVID-19 deaths would reach more than 208,000 by Nov. 1 if masks are not universally used, with the outbreak expected to gain new momentum heading into the fall.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the university also noted in the model that 45,000 lives could be saved if 95 percent of people wear masks, CNN reported.
"The U.S. didn't experience a true end of the first wave of the pandemic," IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in an earlier statement. "This will not spare us from a second surge in the fall, which will hit particularly hard in states currently seeing high levels of infections."
A series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up in a bid to get back to some form of normality, has led to a situation where the country now has "record-breaking cases," Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a livestream with Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health on Monday.
Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said that the country opened up too early in some places. "There's been a lot of mixed messaging on masks and social distancing and so all of that has contributed to what I think is a perilous moment for our country," he told Fox News.
The expert also called on the White House to adhere to science, encourage people to wear masks and conduct social distancing.
After lockdown measures were eased in some states, the United States is struggling to respond to the devastation inflicted by COVID-19 even harder.
The country has reported more than 2.99 million COVID-19 cases with over 131,000 deaths, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally. Both figures are far higher than those in any other country or region.