Dr. Deborah Birx — White House Coronavirus Task Force response coordinator — issued a grim warning to Americans concerned over the COVID-19 pandemic: The best-case scenario for the coronavirus outbreak is 100,000 to 200,000 dead Americans.
Birx, who appeared on NBC's "Today" Monday, intimated that there are dark days ahead if Americans don't comply with social distancing measures and more.
What did she say?
During the interview, Birx expressed her concern for Americans.
"I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5,000 cases very quickly," she added. "We're very worried about every city in the United States and for the potential for this virus to get out of control.
"If we do things together well, almost perfectly, we could get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities," she later said. "We don't even want to see that."
"Today" host Savannah Guthrie was taken aback, and asked Birx about the best-case scenario.
Guthrie interrupted, "You kind of take my breath away with that — because what I hear you say is that's sort of the best-case scenario if everything works and people do the things you're asking them to do, maybe you can hold the deaths to one to 200,000."
"The best-case scenario would be 100 percent of Americans doing what is required," Birx responded, but suggested, however, that the death toll could be much higher as the White House isn't "sure all of America is responding in a uniform way."
Birx added that without extreme preventative measures, the death toll could easily hit more than 2 million.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the overall American death toll could hit the hundreds of thousands.
"[L]ooking at what we're seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 [deaths]," Fauci said. "We're going to have millions of cases."
Fauci added that while it's "possible" 1 million Americans could die because of COVID-19, it's "very, very unlikely."
At the time of this writing,143,532 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the United States. At least 2,572 have died.
Following Birx's Monday remarks, Fauci said he "wouldn't be surprised" if there were 100,000 American deaths.
"I don't want to see it, I'd like to avoid it, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw 100,000 deaths," he admitted.