Dire Warning: Up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths expected

Top health officials warn that the United States will likely see 100 to 200,000 coronavirus deaths, if containment efforts go well. NBC's Alice Barr reports.

WASHINGTON (NBC News) — The devastating toll of the coronavirus crisis is beginning to sink in as top health officials predict a staggering number of Americans are likely to die.

“If we do things together well, almost perfectly, we could get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities,” Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force warns.

That compares to a worst case scenario estimate of two million deaths no actions were taken.

Social distancing remains our best weapon, but experts say too many Americans are refusing to follow the guidance to stay apart and still gathering in groups where the disease can quickly spread.

President Trump has extended those distancing guidelines through the end of April, backing off his earlier goal to reopen much of the country by Easter.

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