The next month could see the COVID-19 death toll in the US surpass half a million, a nominee for President-elect Joe Biden’s administration warned.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Biden’s pick to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there will be “dark weeks ahead” in the pandemic after the new administration takes office.
“By the middle of February, we expect half a million deaths in this country,” Walensky told CBS anchor Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
She added that Americans “still haven’t seen the ramifications of what happened from the holiday travel,” which could mean more hospitalizations and deaths.
The US on Monday was nearing 400,000 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
Biden has pledged to deliver 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine within the first 100 days of his presidency as one of his top priorities.
“We have looked carefully and we are confident that we have enough vaccine for the 100 million doses over the next 100 days,” Walensky said.
“That is what the president-elect has promised. It will be a hefty lift, but we have it in us to do that.”