The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. reached 70,110 on Tuesday afternoon.
There have been almost 1,200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, with 162,000 reported recoveries, since the start of the pandemic.
Deaths from coronavirus are projected to continue to increase, although the projections have been hotly debated. Data reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported by the New York Times on Monday projected a rate of roughly 3,000 deaths per day through June 1. However, the researcher who developed the model said on Tuesday that the data was not meant to be a prediction.
“I had no role in the process by which that was presented and shown,” researcher Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, told the Washington Post. “It was not in any way intended to be a forecast.”
A small handful of U.S. states is currently moving to open some of the businesses that were shuttered in response to the pandemic. At the same time, the Trump administration is considering winding down the White House coronavirus task force in the coming weeks as the country moves to a focus on testing and vaccine development.
Amid speculation that a new wave of coronavirus may hit the U.S. again in the fall, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, emphasized on Tuesday that testing was critical to prevent a second wave of infections.
“Shame on us if we don’t have enough tests by the time this so-called return might occur in the fall and winter,” Fauci told National Geographic.
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