Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A prominent Mayo Clinic infectious disease expert says he considers government projections of over 100,000 and up to 240,000 COVID 19 deaths in the United States represent a worst-case scenario.

Doctor Gregory Poland is with the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group and spoke out the issue in an effort to put the grim statistics in perspective.

"I don't see us getting into that 200,000 range. I may be surprised, but looking at the transmission dynamics, what the rates of serious illness and death have been, I would not predict that from where we are this many weeks into it. I think it could get up toward the 100,000 range, but I'm not thinking that it's going to get that much higher."

Dr. Poland says he believes officials are sharing what the worst-case modeling shows in an effort to better prepare people emotionally and physically. He also stressed that he agrees the only way to minimize coronavirus deaths is to continue the difficult restrictions on American life.

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