US forecast 100 million new Covid cases in fall and winter of 2022

The Biden administration forecasts the US could record 100 million Covid infections in the fall and winter of 2022

Biden administration predicts US could see 100 million Covid infections in fall and winter of 2022 (Images: AP/Backgrid)

The US could see 100 million coronavirus infections this fall and winter, along with a spate of deaths, the Biden administration has warned.

A senior government official shared the projection in a background briefing on Friday as the US neared 1 million Covid deaths. It is part of the government pressure that Congress approves billions more dollars for vaccines, tests and treatments.

The official did not produce a formal projection Friday or provide new data to support it. He attributed this to non-pandemic models anticipating that the Omicron variant and subvariants will continue to spread, according to the Washington Post. The projections do not take into account possible new pressures.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked by a reporter about specific models used to reach the 100 million figure.

Psaki said there are “internal and external models well within this range,” crediting White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha.

“He wanted to say that we know what we have to do,” Psaki said. “We’ve put out a whole playbook to address and help the pandemic — a preparedness plan to make sure Americans are protected and that we stay on the front line in our fight against Covid.”

Psaki continued: “If we don’t take action, we also know that there are – we know that the virus will continue to develop.

“And without us staying vigilant and prepared — like not having access to life-saving vaccines, tests, therapeutics — it goes, it goes — it has the ability to turn our lives upside down.”

The national seven-day average of new coronavirus cases has more than doubled from 29,312 infections on March 30 to nearly 71,000 on Friday.

Some experts agree there could be a spike in coronavirus cases in the fall as vaccine immunity ebbs and restrictions ease.

“It’s always hard to predict the future when it comes to Covid, but I think we’re at a point now where it’s even harder than normal,” said Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the Gillings School of Global Public University of North Carolina Health The Post.

“Because there’s so much sensitivity to things that we don’t exactly understand about the virus and about (human) behavior in terms of these long-term trends.”

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Justin Scacco

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