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Ask Dr. Nandi: COVID-19 deaths will rise almost 80% by February, researchers foresee

Posted at 6:49 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 18:49:07-04
(WXYZ) —

As the US inches closer to 8 million cases of the coronavirus, a key model is forecasting a spike in deaths this winter – by nearly 80 percent.

The model predicts that thousands of Americans will die of COVID in the coming months.

This is scary. The model is from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. And it’s forecasting that 171,000 people could die from COVID-19 by February 2021.

Right now, the US is nearing 218,000 deaths. So add those two numbers together and the forecasted death rate is around 389,000.

Now the model also suggests a best-case and worst-case scenario. The best-case scenario predicts 314,000 deaths, but that’s only if everyone wears a mask. The worst-case scenario predicts over 477,000 deaths and that’s if mask mandates are rolled back or eased up.

Nationally our 7-day rate has been hovering close to 700 deaths a day since the end of September. But researchers with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation say that they expect deaths to begin increasing in the next week or so. And by January, they’re predicting deaths to reach over 2,000 a day.

Many states are seeing more cases. Nationwide we are up 16% from the week prior. And, Michigan as you mentioned, did have a huge spike in case numbers yesterday, over 2,400 according to John Hopkins data.

But I’d like to point out that that number did include a backlog of cases.

Now, Michigan isn’t the only state seeing a sharp upward trend in numbers. 21 states recently hit their peak 7 day average for new cases. That includes our neighboring states Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

I find the rise in numbers to be very concerning. I know people are pandemic fatigued, but we can’t let our guard down and hope that if we do get infected, experimental treatments will save us.

Question: Speaking of experimental treatments, a global study found that Remdesivir doesn't help COVID -19 patients. And Remdesivir was one of the treatments given to President Trump – what can you tell us about this?

I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised and disappointed to hear this. Because previously, in a large study here in the US, Remdesivir had shown that it reduced recovery time by roughly a third in hospitalized patients that were severely ill with COVID-19. And many medical experts had so much faith in this antiviral, that as you mentioned, it was given to our President when he became infected with the virus.

But now, this global study that included more than 11,000 coronavirus patients in 30 countries have found the opposite. And the World Health Organization has said that when it comes to hospitalized patients, the drug Remdesivir has "little or no effect on mortality" and that it was “disappointingly unpromising".

It also didn’t appear to help sick patients recover any faster.

If you’d like to “Stop Cancer Dead in its Tracks”, then watch The Dr. Nandi Show this coming Sunday. Dr. Nandi and cancer experts will discuss the importance of early detection, treatment options, and survival rates for some of the most common cancers. And a cancer survivor shares how she discovered a cancerous lump in her breast and her road to treatment and recovery. Tune in this Sunday, October 18th at 1 pm.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.