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Fauci Predicts 100K-200K US Deaths     03/29 09:46

   Millions of Americans will be infected by the coronavirus and 100,000 to 
200,000 will die, the U.S. government's top infectious-disease expert warned 
Sunday, as people in and around the country's outbreak epicenter of New York 
were urged to limit their travel to contain the scourge.

   (AP) -- Millions of Americans will be infected by the coronavirus and 
100,000 to 200,000 will die, the U.S. government's top infectious-disease 
expert warned Sunday, as people in and around the country's outbreak epicenter 
of New York were urged to limit their travel to contain the scourge.

   The dire prediction came from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National 
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking on CNN's "State of the 
Union." As of Sunday morning, the U.S. had about 125,000 infections and 2,200 
deaths.

   Around the world, doctors were forced to make tough choices about which 
patients to save with their limited breathing machines, and Spain and Italy 
demanded more European help as they fight still-surging coronavirus infections 
in the continent's worst crisis since World War II. 

   The confirmed global death toll surpassed 31,000 and new virus epicenters 
emerged in U.S. cities like Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago. Even rural 
America has not been immune, as virus hotspots erupt in Midwestern towns and 
Rocky Mountain ski havens.

   Spain and Italy alone account for more than half of the world's death toll, 
and are still seeing over 800 deaths a day each. 

   Experts say, however, that virus toll numbers across the world are being 
seriously under-represented because of limited testing and political decisions 
about which bodies to count. Unlike the U.S., France and Italy do not count 
deaths that take place at home or in nursing homes, even though nursing homes 
are known coronavirus incubators around the world.

   ''Europe must demonstrate that it is able to respond to this historic 
call,'' Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said late Saturday. "I will fight until 
the last drop of sweat, until the last gram of energy, to obtain a strong, 
vigorous, cohesive European response."

   President Donald Trump backtracked on a threat to quarantine New York and 
neighboring states amid criticism and questions about the legality of such a 
move. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel 
advisory  urging all residents of New York City and others in New York state, 
New Jersey and Connecticut to avoid all nonessential travel for 14 days.

   Shocking as that is for Americans, that stopped short of the restrictions 
imposed in Europe or elsewhere. Parisians are fined if they try to leave the 
city, South Africans can't even buy liquor, and Serbians are upset over a ban 
on walking their dog. In Italy, burials are being held with only one family 
member.

   Spain moved to tighten its lockdown and ban all nonessential work Sunday as 
it hit another daily record of 838 dead. The country's overall official toll 
was more than 6,500.

   Spain's health emergencies chief, Fernando Simn, said the country's 
infection rate fell Sunday to 9%, down from 18% three days before. But he said 
the number of people in intensive care units keeps rising and hospitals are at 
their limits in several regions. 

   "That is why we have to strictly apply the control measures," he said.

   The crisis is pummeling world economies and putting huge strains on national 
health care systems. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for a more 
vigorous response from the 27-nation European Union.

   "It is the most difficult moment for the EU since its foundation and it has 
to be ready to rise to the challenge," he said.

   Spain, Italy, France and six other EU members have asked the union to share 
the burden by issuing European debt, dubbed coronabonds, to help fight the 
virus. But the idea has met resistance from Germany and the Netherlands.

   European countries have also resisted sharing masks with their neighbors for 
fear that they, too, will need them in mass quantities soon. Many countries 
have turned to China, where the outbreak is easing, flying in cargo planes to 
get protective medical equipment.

   These tensions have raised new fears about whether the EU will survive this 
crisis.

   "It's really, really important that we achieve better coordination," German 
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said.

   Worldwide infections surpassed 680,000, according to a tally by Johns 
Hopkins University. The United States leads the world with about 125,000 
reported cases, but five other countries have higher death tolls: Italy, Spain, 
China, Iran and France. 

   Italy has more than 10,000 deaths, the most of any country.

   Egypt shut its beaches as cases in the Mideast surpassed 50,000. Police in 
the Philippines stepped up arrests of quarantine violators, and more tourists 
were evacuated from Mount Everest and the Indonesian island of Bali.

   Poland is considering delaying its May 10 presidential election, and Russia 
ordered borders to close on Monday. A prominent French politician with the 
virus died, France's first death of a senior official. 

   British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has the virus himself, warned: 
"Things will get worse before they get better."

   For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as 
fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for others, especially 
older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more 
severe illness, including pneumonia, and lead to death. 

   More than 145,000 people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins.

   Pope Francis called Sunday for a cease-fire in all conflicts around the 
globe ''to focus together on the true fight of our lives.'' He also urged 
authorities to take special care of those in nursing homes, military barracks 
and jails.

   In Detroit, which has a large low-income population, the death toll rose to 
31 with about 1,400 infections in a rate that shocked health officials.

   "This is off the charts," said Dr. Teena Chopra, medical director of 
infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at the Detroit Medical Center. 
"We are seeing a lot of patients that are presenting to us with severe disease, 
rather than minor disease."

   Some U.S. states began to try to limit exposure from visitors from 
harder-hit areas. Rhode Island National Guard troops were going door to door in 
coastal communities to find New Yorkers. Florida is setting up checkpoints to 
screen visitors from Louisiana.

   As others tightened controls, China eased more restrictions ,following the 
ruling Communist Party's declaration of victory over the coronavirus. Airline 
flights from Hubei province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak resumed 
Sunday. Subway and bus service resumed Saturday in the province's hard-hit 
capital of Wuhan.


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