Death toll from coronavirus in the US increases to more than 63,000

The number of deaths in the United States from coronavirus is now well over 63,000 - a harrowing increase from just two months ago when only two fatalities had been reported. 

Back on March 1, only two deaths had been linked to coronavirus across the country and that figure increased to more than 4,800 by April 1.   

Now on May 1, deaths have skyrocketed to 63,849 - a grim reminder of just how severe the COVID-19 outbreak toll has had on the country. 

The number of deaths increased by 2,239 in 24 hours on Thursday. 

It marked the third day in a row where deaths have increased by more than 2,000 after appearing to have a brief lull when daily fatalities dropped below 1,600 on three consecutive days. 

Infections across the country have now increased to more than 1,097,000 and account for a third of the global COVID-19 cases. 

The number of deaths in the United States from coronavirus is now well over 63,000 - a harrowing increase from just two months ago when only two fatalities had been reported

The number of deaths in the United States from coronavirus is now well over 63,000 - a harrowing increase from just two months ago when only two fatalities had been reported

The increasing number of deaths has now surpassed President Donald 's best case scenario of 60,000 deaths.     

, in recent weeks, had suggested that 60,000 might be the total death count from COVID-19. He had cited the estimate as a sign of relative success after the White House previously warned the US could suffer 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.  

Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, on March 29 revealed models projecting the deaths of 100,00-240,000 Americans, assuming social distancing efforts were ongoing. 

At the same time, she said epidemiology models initially had predicted a worst-case scenario of 1.5 million to 2.2 million US deaths without mitigation efforts such as social distancing, hand washing and staying home as much as possible.

Soon after, began speculating that the 100,000 figure was an outer limit. Later, he leaned more toward the 60,000 projection.

'The minimum number was 100,000 lives and I think we'll be substantially under that number,' he said April 10. 'Hard to believe that if you had 60,000 - you could never be happy, but that's a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking.'   

has used the 2.2. million death estimate repeatedly to suggest he saved millions of lives through leadership that he and other administration officials say was 'decisive'.  often cites restricting travel from China, where the virus originated, and from Europe, where it took hold before exploding in the US, as among his most important first steps. 

'We did the right thing, because if we didn't do it, you would have had a million people, a million and a half people, maybe 2 million people dead,' the president said on April 20.

'Now, we're going toward 50-, I'm hearing, or 60,000 people. One is too many. I always say it. One is too many. But we're going toward 50- or 60,000 people.'

It comes as the latest COVID-19 projection models, cited by the White House and CDC, predicted even more deaths by the end of summer. 

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model projects 74,073 Americans will die from the coronavirus by August 4.

That figure is down from about a month ago when the model projected around 90,000 deaths related to coronavirus in the US. 

The MOBS model from the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University also estimates that there will be about 89,000 deaths by mid-May if stay-at-home orders remain in place. 

That death toll would increase to over one

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