Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress, told a closed meeting of Senate staffers this week that 70 million to 150 million Americans — a third of the nation — could contract the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will likely run near 1%. Translation: Between 750,000 and 1.1 million Americans may die of this disease before it runs its course. The latter figure is equal to all the U.S. dead in World War II and on both sides in the Civil War. Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that 70% of Germany’s population — 58 million people — could contract the coronavirus. If she is right, and Fauci’s mortality rate holds for her country, that could mean more than half a million dead Germans. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis called Merkel’s remark “unhelpful” and said it could cause panic. But Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch seemed to support Merkel, saying between 40% and 70% of the world’s population could become infected. Again, if Fauci’s 1% mortality rate and Lipsitch’s estimate prove on target, between 3 billion and 5 billion people on earth will be infected, and 30 million to 50 million will die, a death toll greater than that of the Spanish Flu of 1918.
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