It’s impossible to know how many Americans will die because of the new COVID-19, under a reasonable set of assumptions the number of fatalities could be high.

To put the estimates in context, we’re comparing the possible toll with other leading causes of death in the United States in 2018, the most recent year with data available. (H/T: NYT)

Here is where coronavirus deaths would rank in the U.S., assuming an overall infection rate of 30% and fatality rate of 1.2% over the next year:

All of the estimates depend on two basic questions: How many Americans will be infected with the virus? And how many who are infected will end up dying?

Here is where coronavirus deaths would rank in the U.S., assuming an overall infection rate of 10% and fatality rate of 1.2% over the next year:

As The New York Times reported last week, epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently prepared four scenarios. Their calculations showed a large range of possible fatalities in the United States: between 200,000 and 1.7 million Americans over the course of Covid-19, assuming minimal efforts to contain it.

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