• Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.
  • Coronavirus has now infected at least 9,159 people in the U.S. and killed at least 150.
  • Dialo predicted US companies stand to lose $4 trillion

The new coronavirus could kill millions of people across the United States.

Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine in Baltimore, made that grim prediction on Thursday morning.

“It would not surprise me,” she said. “We need to prepare for the worst.”

Neuzil is also a member of the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and also is part of a team of infectious disease experts working with National Institutes of Health to test a coronavirus vaccine.

“We have 350 million people in the United States, and you do the math,” sha said. “If 70 million people are eventually infected with this virus and again if there are multiple waves of this virus, then you can do the math and then you can get there [to millions of fatalities].”

Coronavirus has now infected at least 9,159 people across every state in the U.S. and killed at least 150 people. On March 1, there were only about 100 confirmed cases in the U.S.

The actual number of cases is likely much higher, as delays and restrictive diagnostic criteria placed a limit on who could be tested.

Almost one-half of all confirmed cases are concentrated in Washington, California and New York, where local officials have unveiled strong “social distancing” measures.

Neuzil contends these policies could cut down the number of fatalities.

“I firmly believe that the very aggressive social distancing and other strategies we’re implementing now will reduce the deaths,” she said. “What we’re worried about is overwhelming that [health care] system.”

Various states have closed public venues and/or banned gatherings by more than 50 people.

“Never since World War II have we faced a situation like this,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “For the next several weeks, normal is not in our game plan.”

The fatalities have already commenced and are expected to continue climbing.

In New Jersey three members of the same family died after becoming infected with coronavirus.

Grace Fusco, 73, from Freehold, died in a hospital Wednesday night, followed by the deaths of her daughter, 55-year-old Rita Fusco-Jackson, and eldest son, Carmine Fusco.

“This has been devastating for all of us,” Fusco-Jackson’s sister Elizabeth Fusco said. “Our hearts are broken over losing our sister, Rita. We just need help in saving our family members with life-saving medication.”

Four of Fusco’s other children have also contracted the virus and are in hospital.

Other voices are also predicting doomsday for the U.S. economy.

Billionaire investor and founder of the Bridgewater Associates hedge fund Ray Dalio said Thursday that corporate losses in the US due to the effects of coronavirus will exceed $4 trillion

“What’s happening has not happened in our lifetime before. What we have is a crisis,” Dalio said. “There will also be individuals who have very big losses. There’s a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money.”

As a point of reference, the U.S. had a total gross domestic product of $21 trillion as of the end of 2019. The $4 trillion figure is larger than Germany's entire GDP.

Dialo also estimated the global corporate losses could reach $12 trillion.

He also said the U.S. government should provide a minimum of $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in fiscal stimulus (well above what the White House currently proposes).

“We are now at a point where there will have to be a debt restructuring and a monetization of that,” Dalio said. “We’re living in a different world, like the 1930s in which 1930, 1932, you have a devaluation of the dollar. You have the printing of money.”