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White House task force says models suggest declining virus death tolls

WASHINGTON, DC -- As the nation's top health expert said Thursday that he thinks the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 could be far less than the original White House projection of up to 240,000 lives, President Donald Trump is preparing to form a second coronavirus task force focused on reopening the economy -- while jobless claims soared for the third week in a row.

Fauci confirmed on Thursday that social distancing and behavior changes are "starting to have a real effect" and that the virus death toll may look "more like 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000" initially predicted.

Amid that comparatively positive development, the president continues to argue that Americans "want to go back" to work and are going "stir crazy," while CDC Director Robert Redfield has announced new guidelines that would allow what he called "essential workers" to return to their jobs sooner.

Redfield said asymptomatic health care workers, first responders and those working in food supply, among others, can now return to work even after being exposed to someone infected with Covid-19, under the guidance.

Even with one key model projecting tens of thousands of fewer deaths by the end of summer, doctors of the coronavirus task force warn that current mitigation levels and social distancing must continue or even intensify to keep that number down, as the country nears it's expected peak one-day death toll.

Health / Politics / Top Stories / US & World / Video

ABC News

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