When director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested in March that somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die due to COVID-19, the grim prediction was brushed off as alarmist and unrealistic. Much to the former disbelief of many Americans, who largely underestimated the ravaging effects the virus would have on the nation, Fauci’s prediction came true in May, when the U.S. surpassed 100,000 Coronavirus deaths. Just four months later, the number of fatalities has doubled, reaching over 200,000. 

Not only has Dr. Fauci’s prediction came true, but the once-bleak forecast actually fell short of what is likely to happen, with experts now believing almost another 180,000 will die by New Year’s time. The clock is ticking as scientists rush to get a vaccine approved and distributed to the public, a process that is estimated to take somewhere between 12 to 18 months before an adequate enough amount of testing is done for it to be deemed safe. 

According to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Covid-19 is now the second-leading cause of death in the US, trailing only behind heart disease. Experts urge the public to continue practicing social distancing when possible, and wear masks when it isn’t.