More than 160,000 have died of coronavirus in the US so far and that number could nearly double by December, the director of a leading model said Thursday.
But consistently wearing masks could save nearly 70,000 of the 295,000 people projected to die of the virus by December 1, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) director Dr. Christopher Murray said on CNN's Global Town Hall.
"It's rare that you see something so simple, so inexpensive, so easy for everybody to participate in can have such an extraordinary impact in the US and also all over the world," Murray said.
The latest on masks in the US: At least 39 states as well as Washington, DC and Puerto Rico have implemented mask requirements of some kind. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear extended his state's mask mandate by 30 days yesterday, saying "It's working."
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated mask recommendations on its website, urging people not use masks with valves or vents. While the one-way valve keeps people cooler by allowing air to escape, that also means respiratory droplets that carry the virus can escape and infect others.