Health institute makes dire Covid predictions

US deaths from the coronavirus will reach 410,000 by the end of the year, more than double the current death toll, and deaths could soar to 3,000 per day in December, the University of Washington's health institute forecast on Friday.

Deaths could be reduced by 30% if more Americans wore face masks as epidemiologists have advised, but mask-wearing is declining, the university's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said.

The US death rate projected by the IHME model, which has been cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, would more than triple the current death rate of some 850 per day.

"We expect the daily death rate in the United States, because of seasonality and declining vigilance of the public, to reach nearly 3,000 a day in December," the institute, which bills itself as an independent research centre, said in an update of its periodic forecasts.

"Cumulative deaths expected by January 1 are 410,000; this is 225,000 deaths from now until the end of the year," the institute said.

It previously projected 317,697 deaths by Dec. 1.

The model's outlook for the world was even more dire, with deaths projected to triple to 2.8 million by January 1st 2021.

Dr Christopher Murray, director of the IHME, said: "Looking at the staggering Covid-19 estimates, it's easy to get lost in the enormity of the numbers."

He warned the world faces a 'deadly December', particularly in Europe, Central Asia and the US, with Covid expected to become more prevalent in colder conditions.

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A pedestrian wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walks past a mural reading "U Are Alive..... so get your head out of your phone" in Dublin on October 19, 2020, amid reports that further lockdown restrictions could be imposed to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Ireland will crank up coronavirus restrictions, prime minister Micheal Martin said last week, announcing a raft of new curbs along the border with the British province of Northern Ireland. (Photo by Paul Faith / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators climb a monument as they gather to protest against the COVID-19 restrictive measures at Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. The Czech Republic has imposed a new series of restrictive measures in response to a record surge in coronavirus infections. Among the measures all sports indoor activities are banned and only up to 20 people are allowed to participate in outdoor sport activities also all bars, restaurants and clubs are closed while drinking of alcohol is banned at public places. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Pedestrians wearing face masks or coverings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk past a mural reading "Don't Be Afraid" in Dublin on October 19, 2020, amid reports that further lockdown restrictions could be imposed to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Ireland will crank up coronavirus restrictions, prime minister Micheal Martin said last week, announcing a raft of new curbs along the border with the British province of Northern Ireland. (Photo by Paul Faith / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Hospitality workers beat their pans to protest in Parliament Square in London, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Hospitality workers are demonstrating outside Parliament against tougher coronavirus restrictions and the amount of financial support given by the government to the industry.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A demonstrators is detained during protest against the COVID-19 restrictive measures at Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. The Czech Republic has imposed a new series of restrictive measures in response to a record surge in coronavirus infections. Among the measures all sports indoor activities are banned and only up to 20 people are allowed to participate in outdoor sport activities also all bars, restaurants and clubs are closed while drinking of alcohol is banned at public places. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA - 2020/10/18: Children from Sundarban, wearing protective masks, give finishing touches to the artwork and paintings of goddess Durga prior to the Durga puja festival amidst Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jit Chattopadhyay/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A woman walks by a graffiti depicting Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales, in La Paz on October 18, 2020 during Bolivia's general election. - Landlocked Bolivia elects a new president on Sunday after a 2019 poll was annulled and follow-up elections postponed twice amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Luis GANDARILLAS / AFP) (Photo by LUIS GANDARILLAS/AFP via Getty Images)
KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA - 2020/10/18: Art drawings of Goddess Durga dressed as a doctor and wearing facemask as she spears coronavirus, painted by children of Sundarbans prior to the celebration of Durga Puja festival amidst covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Jit Chattopadhyay/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
JERUSALEM - OCTOBER 17: People protest against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in front of the House of the Prime Minister (Beit Aghion) in West Jerusalem on October 17, 2020. (Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A protester holds a child (2R) and others react as anti-riot police use a water cannon during a protest of hundreds of football hooligans and far-right voters of Kotleba's LSNS party against the government of Igor Matovic and precautionary measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in front of the Government Office in Bratislava on October 17, 2020. - Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on October 17 the eurozone member will test every resident ages 10 and up for the coronavirus, amid an uptick in infections. Around 500 people gathered outside the government building in downtown Bratislava to protest the latest anti-virus restrictions, despite a ban on gatherings of more than six people. Riot police used a water cannon and tear gas after the crowd started to throw stones and glass bottles. (Photo by VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP) (Photo by VLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP via Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - OCTOBER 17: Officials disinfect inside of Al Hassina Mosque within coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Gaza City, Gaza on October 17, 2020. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
17 October 2020, Bavaria, Garmisch-Partenkirchen: A waitress holds a tray of beer in an inn. Almost half of the Bavarian districts and independent cities have stricter masks, stricter contact restrictions and closing hours in the gastronomy due to the increasing number of corona. Photo: Angelika Warmuth/dpa (Photo by Angelika Warmuth/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Protest for school closed for the corona virus outside Campania Region in Naples, Italy, on October on 17, 2020. (Photo by Paolo Manzo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Protesters of fitness and gym workers against so called second lockdawn in Warsaw, Poland on October 17. (Photo by Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - OCTOBER 16: An Ethiopian woman, wearing a face mask as a measure against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, walks past a mural, painted to draw attention to the pandemic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on October 16, 2020. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Demonstrators protest in front of Catalan regional police during a demonstration on October 16, 2020 in Barcelona to protest against the new restrictions imposed by the regional government on bars and restaurants to fight against COVID-19 disease. - Bars and restaurants are to be closed across Spain's northeastern Catalonia region for the next 15 days to slow rising coronavirus infections, the regional government said on October 14, 2020. The move comes as Spain battles one of the highest rates of infection in the European Union, with nearly 900,000 infections and more than 33,000 deaths. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH OCTOBER 16, 2020: Muslims take part in a protest demanding women's safety and justice for rape victims amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 16, 2020. - PHOTOGRAPH BY Rehman Asad / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Rehman Asad/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 16, 2020: Bus passengers wear face masks amid the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
Wearing masks against the spread of the new coronavirus, a newly married couple kiss during a wedding photo session in a classic American car in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Tibby Starks, a worker for the Denver Election Division, wears a face covering with a message to encourage people to vote outside election headquarters during the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - OCTOBER 15: People watch a film after movie theaters reopened within the easing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic restrictions in Baghdad, Iraq on October 15, 2020. (Photo by Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Palestinians wearing a protective masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic attend a rally to protest the reduction of the food basket provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Gaza City, on October 14, 2020. (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 14, 2020: A medical staff member in a protective suit works in an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients at the Clinical Research Center of the Russian Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA). On October 14, 2020, Russia has reported 13,686 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection. Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 13, 2020: Medical workers take part in a comprehensive emergency response exercise at Domodedovo International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sergei Karpukhin/TASS (Photo by Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images)
14 October 2020, Brazil, Sao Paulo: At the Vila Formosa cemetery, relatives wearing face masks watch as cemetery workers in protective suits manoeuvre a coffin during a funeral. The Ministry of Health has confirmed 955 377 Covid-19 infected and 46 510 coronavirus deaths. More than a quarter of the newly registered deaths occurred in the state of São Paulo. Photo: Lincon Zarbietti/dpa (Photo by Lincon Zarbietti/picture alliance via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 13, 2020: Russian Emergency Situations Ministry employees prepare to carry out disinfection of Kursky Railway Station following a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
People wave Spanish flags during a drive-in protest organised by Spain's far-right Vox party against the Spanish government's handling of the nation's coronavirus outbreak din Madrid, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. The protests Monday coincided with 'Dia de la Hispanidad' or Spain's Hispanic Day, the day that commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Members of An Garda order counter demonstrators to retreat during an anti-lockdown protest outside Leinster House, Dublin, as Ireland continues to be at a nationwide Level 3 coronavirus lock down. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)
Actress Nayeli Cortes dressed as the La Llorona character, carries a doll representing her child as she performs in the play La Llorona, performed on top of a chinampa, a small artificial island at Cuemanco pier in Xochimilco, Mexico City, late Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, as the city promotes the upcoming Day of the Dead holiday at the end of the month, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Legend has it that La Llorona drowned her children and then regretfully looks for them in rivers and towns, scaring locals who can hear her at night. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
YEKATERINBUEG, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 10, 2020: Passengers wear face masks on a bus. According to the Russian government's emergency response center for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, on October 10, 2020, Russia has reported more than 12,846 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection, which made the daily maximum since the start of the pandemic. Donat Sorokin/TASS (Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)
A woman wears a mask reading in Italian Liberazione (Liberation) as people gather to protest against the government restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Rome, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
A worker in a food shop wears a mask and checks on the food in the shop window in Soho, London, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The British economy grew by far less than anticipated during August, raising concerns that the recovery from the coronavirus recession was already stuttering even before the reimposition of an array of lockdown restrictions. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
An elderly woman wearing a face shield to curb the spread of the new coronavirus waits her turn in line to be given coupons provided by the municipality of Iztapalapa to buy groceries in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. The municipal government of Iztapalapa is providing coupons to help poor families cope with the hardship created by the new coronavirus pandemic economic slowdown. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A keeper checks teeth of a sea lion at closed Zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The Czech government has responded, to new record high numbers of coronavirus infections, by imposing further restrictive measures to contain the surge, some of them become effective on Friday, others on Monday. Among them, all theaters, cinemas, zoos, museums, art galleries, fitness centers and public swimming pools will be closed for at least two weeks. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 09: Sports fan and sports hall owners march towards French Health Ministry building from Raul-Dautry Square to protest government's coronavirus (Covid-19) measures after sports hall are being closed within pandemic measures in Paris, France on October 09, 2020. (Photo by Alaattin Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man wearing a mask to protect himself from the coronavirus reads a newspaper in front of a closed shop in Dharmsala, India, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. India is the world's second most coronavirus affected country after the United States. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
South Korean police officers wearing face masks patrol to block protesters' possible rallies against the government in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Seoul city temporarily banned outdoor rallies with 10 or more people over infection risks against the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A medical team member is disinfected before leaving the COVID-19 ward at the Severo Ochoa hospital in Leganes, outskirts of Madrid, Spain, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. At the peak of the first wave, ICU wards were given over to haste, desperation and even cluelessness about what to do. Now, a well-oiled machinery saves some lives and loses others to coronavirus, but without the doomsday atmosphere of March and April. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A woman walks past a new artwork by street artist TVBoy depicting US President Donald Trump dressed up in a Superman costume and flying through COVID-19 clouds in Barcelona on October 8, 2020. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 8, 2020: Passengers wait outside an EMG express COVID-19 testing lab at Vnukovo International Airport. People arriving from abroad have to submit a coronavirus test result within three days. Sergei Savostyanov/TASS (Photo by Sergei Savostyanov\TASS via Getty Images)
People wearing protective face masks walk in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on 8 October 2020. - The authorities of the Italian capital Rome have ordered to always wear face protection outdoors, in an attempt to counter the spread of coronavirus disease. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 08: A view of the empty bars and cafes after The Brussels Capital Region closed all bars and introduced additional precautions on to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID 19) in Brussels, Belgium on October 08, 2020. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Performers wearing masks to protect from the coronavirus rehearse for a show at the Badaling Great Wall of China on the outskirts of Beijing on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Chinese tourists took 425 million domestic trips in the first half of the eight-day National Day holiday, generating $45.9 billion in tourism revenue, according to China's ministry of culture and tourism. The holiday this year, which coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival, will be a litmus test of whether China's tourism industry can bounce back after being battered by COVID-19.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Face masks hang on a boat during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, at the port in the mixed Arab Jewish city of Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
A Kashmiri health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a child to test for COVID-19 in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. India is the second worst-nation in terms of confirmed coronavirus caseload. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) health workers conduct a rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 in the southern neighbourhood of Vallecas in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. About 5.2 million people in Spain, including nearly 4.8 million residents in or around Madrid, are under restrictions on movement due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Wearing protective face masks, pilgrims from the Mouride Brotherhood stand in line to enter the Grand Mosque of Touba during the celebrations of the Grand Magal of Touba, in Senegal, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people from the Mouride Brotherhood, an order of Sufi Islam, gather for the annual religious pilgrimage to celebrate the life and teachings of Cheikh Amadou Bamba, the founder of the brotherhood. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
07 October 2020, Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel: Federal police patrol a large compartment of an ICE. In the trains of the Deutsche Bahn the mouth and nose cover is checked. Photo: Axel Heimken/dpa (Photo by Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)
GURUGRAM, INDIA - OCTOBER 5, 2020: A silhoutte of construction workers at work seen during sunset, at Dwarka Expressway, near Sector - 94, on October 5, 2020 in Gurugram, India. (Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 06, 2020: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to deliver his leader's speech at a Conservative Party conference, which is held online due to the coronavirus pandemic on 06 October, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 06: A police officer stands to check vehicles at a control point due to the travel restrictions after new restrictions came into effect as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the city surge, in Madrid, Spain on October 06, 2020. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 06: Representatives of the European travel and tourism companies demonstrate as they say that they have been most affected by COVID-19 pandemic, in Brussels, Belgium on October 06, 2020. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 06: Disinfection workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfect a street to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread on October 06, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 100 for the sixth straight day, but the country is bracing for a possible resurgence in new infections after a Chuseok holiday as a slew of clusters was reported. Health authorities had advised people to refrain from visiting their family members and relatives this year over the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving. They also allowed public transportation to sell only window seats in line with efforts to prevent the spread of the virus over Chuseok holiday, when millions normally travel across the country. The country added 75 more COVID-19 cases, including 66 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,239, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
AMAZONAS, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 03: A view of Taruman Park Cemetery used to bury coronavirus (Covid-19) victims is seen as death toll rises due to the pandemic in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil on October 03, 2020. (Photo by Junio Matos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
GAZA STRIP, GAZA - OCTOBER 03: A woman walks past a mural depicting of a virus to draw attention and raise awareness to the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Gaza Strip, Gaza on October 03, 2020. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Israeli mounted arrive at the scene of a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and against the second nationwide lockdown imposed by the government in a bid to stem the increase of COVID-19 infection cases, in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on October 3, 2020. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
BETHESDA, MD - OCTOBER 3: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump rally outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 3, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. Trump arrived at the hospital yesterday after testing positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
IZMIR, TURKEY - OCTOBER 02: In this aerial view from a drone, five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port on October 02, 2020 in Izmir, Turkey. With the global coronavirus pandemic pushing the multi-billion dollar cruise industry into crisis, some cruise operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned. The cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit industries with public confidence in cruise holidays plummeting after a series of outbreaks occurred on cruise liners as the pandemic spread. The crisis however has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The front page of the Evening Standard displays the news of US President Donald Trump after he tested positive to Covid-19, in London, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Accountant Abiodun Ayinde watches as the news announces U.S President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus, at his office in Lagos Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Global markets dropped after President Trump said that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Pedestrians look an artist from Gurukul art school painting posters carrying messages for U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania in Mumbai, India, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. President Trump said early Friday that he and first lady Melania have tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning announcement that plunges the country deeper into uncertainty just a month before the presidential election. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Patrons and employees of discotheques hold placards read "We want to work" as they demonstrate in Biarritz, soutwestern France, Friday Oct. 2, 2020. French Health Minister Olivier Veran warned that the government could classify Paris and nearby suburbs as a "maximum alert zone" starting Monday, leading to measures such as shutting bars and banning "family parties" or other big gatherings. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
A man stands in a NOVID sanitisation booth during a demonstration in Liverpool city centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Students wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus arrive at a primary school in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. Pakistani students head back to primary schools following their reopening, amid a steady decline in coronavirus deaths and infections. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
A medical professional in full protective equipment works in the critical care coronavirus unit, which was built in an underground parking garage at Sheba Medical center in Ramat Gan, Israel, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
HUY, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 30: Podium / Benoit Cosnefroy of France and Team AG2R La Mondiale Silver medal / Marc Hirschi of Switzerland and Team Sunweb / Michael Woods of Canada and Team EF Education First Pro Cycling Bronze medal / Celebration / Mask / Covid safety measures / Flowers / during the 84th La Fleche Wallonne 2020, Men Elite a 202km stage from Herve to Mur de Huy / @flechewallone / #FlecheWallone / on September 30, 2020 in Huy, Belgium. (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)
Boracay Island, PHILIPPINES - SEPTEMBER 30: A worker sits next to beverages at a resort on September 30, 2020 in Boracay Island, Philippines. The Philippines is reopening Boracay Island, a popular tourist destination known for its resorts and beaches, to more visitors starting October 1 in a bid to revive its pandemic-hit tourism sector. Tourism accounted for almost 13% of the Philippines economic output last year, according to the Department of Tourism. The reopening of Boracay comes as the nation tries to stimulate the economy even as coronavirus cases continue to rise. The country surpassed 312,000 cases of COVID-19, with at least 5,504 deaths. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
Doctor Oleh Hornostayev, wearing a special suit to protect against coronavirus, closes a door of the elevator at the city hospital in Stryi, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 1 million, nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, tested world leaders' resolve, pitted science against politics and forced multitudes to change the way they live, learn and work. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A nine year old boy, left, in personal protective equipment offers prayers during the cremation of his father who died of COVID-19 in Gauhati, India, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. India’s confirmed coronavirus tally has reached 6 million cases, keeping the country second to the United States in number of reported cases since the pandemic began. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
Israeli acrobat Shay Rylski performs on a car-free road, during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. The solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which annually sees Israeli life grind to a halt, comes this year as the nation is already under a sweeping coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Passengers wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus arrive at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on September 29, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
A man wears a face mask as he walks past the Old Opera in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
With social distancing barrier, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man and an Israeli soldier pray ahead of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year which starts at sundown Sunday during a three-week nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's old city, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. The solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which annually sees Israeli life grind to a halt, arrived on Sunday in a nation already under a sweeping coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A worker applies varnish to a coffin at the Eurocoffin factory in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. As the U.S. closed in on 200,000 coronavirus deaths Monday, the crisis deteriorated across Europe, with Britain working to draw up new restrictions, Spain clamping down again in Madrid and the Czech Republic replacing its health minister with an epidemiologist because of a surge of infections. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Angry restaurant and bar owners demonstrate in Marseille, southern France, Friday Sept. 25, 2020 to challenge a French government order to close all public venues as of Saturday to battle resurgent virus infections. The protesters, and local officials in France's second-biggest city, are also threatening legal action, to try to block the order via the courts. They argue that Marseille's virus case rise has been stabilizing, and that the central government in Paris is unfairly singling out Marseille for the toughest virus measures in the nation. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
Attendees wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus watch a presentation by auto maker Geely at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, also known as Auto China, in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Auto China 2020, postponed from March, is the first major trade show for any industry since the pandemic began as automakers are looking to China, the first major economy to start recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, to drive sales growth and reverse multibillion-dollar losses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Shaina holds flowers during the burial of Paula Sebastian, who died due to COVID-19 at the age of 62, in cemetery "Martires 19 de Julio" , in Comas on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Spain's Rafael Nadal, center, coach Francisco Roig, right, and his staff wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus gather during a break at the Roland Garros stadium during practicing in Paris, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Already repeatedly trimmed, crowd sizes for the French Open have been reduced again to just 1,000 spectators per day because of the worsening coronavirus epidemic in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A man rides a bicycle next to a billboard calling people to wear masks, on empty road following new restrictions in the three-week nationwide lockdown, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
People wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus and visit at a night market in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 26, 2020: A member of staff cleans Karo cinema kiosks at the Atrium shopping and entertainment centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
A woman wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus disease walks in downtown Moscow on September 25, 2020. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Visitors wearing face masks react on the RC Racer ride at the Hong Kong Disneyland, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Hong Kong Disneyland reopened its doors to visitors after closed temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A ball girl wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus takes tennis balls during a qualification match in Paris, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Already repeatedly trimmed, crowd sizes for the French Open have been reduced again to just 1,000 spectators per day because of the worsening coronavirus epidemic in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Visitors wearing face masks take a selfie with the iconic cartoon characters Donald Duck and Daisy Duck at the Hong Kong Disneyland, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Hong Kong Disneyland reopened its doors to visitors after closed temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Luis Chacon, the current person representing Mama Negra, leads the festival in honor of the Virgin of Las Mercedes in Latacunga, Ecuador, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. The Mama Negra festival dates back to 1742 when the people of Latacunga ask the Virgin of Las Mercedes to protect them from the eruptions of the neighboring Cotopaxi volcano. Today the festival took place despite the new coronavirus pandemic restrictions and devotees asked the virgin to protect them from the disease. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
A waiter wearing a face mask sets up tables outside a restaurant in downtown Rome on September 25, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy, which was hit hard by the first wave of the coronavirus, is today an exception in Europe with a limited number of new cases, a result obtained at the price of strict anti-COVID measures, hailed on September 25, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Mask-clad Palestinians, unable to reach the Al-Aqsa mosque compound amidst strengthened restriction due to the coronavirus, perform the Friday prayers in front of the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem, on September 25, 2020. - Israel toughened its coronavirus measures yesterday as a second nationwide lockdown failed to bring down the world's highest infection rate a week after it was imposed. The new rules will close the vast majority of workplaces, shutter markets and further limit prayers and demonstrations. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)
Activists from the COVID Memorial Project mark the deaths of 200,000 lives lost in the U.S. to COVID-19 after placing thousands of small American flags places on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Morning joggers look over small flags that activists from the COVID Memorial Project placed on the grounds of the National Mall to mark the deaths of 200,000 lives lost in the U.S. to COVID-19, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A health worker collects a nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 in Hyderabad, India, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The nation of 1.3 billion people is expected to become the coronavirus pandemic's worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
IVANOVO, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 22, 2020: A pharmacist in a face mask shows boxes of favipiravir under the brand name of Avifavir at a storage facility of the Farmatsiya pharmacy chain. The medication was developed in Japan under the name of favipiravir by 2014. It became a generic drug in 2019. In May 2020, it was registered by Russia's Health Ministry under the brand name of Avifavir and approved for treating COVID-19 in hospitals. Vladimir Smirnov/TASS (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)
A woman adjusts a bandage in use as a face mask attached to her headphones in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The Czech Republic has been been facing the second wave of infections of COVID-19. The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections has been setting new records almost on a daily basis. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A woman wearing a face mask stands in front of huge inflatable globe model of planet earth in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The Czech Republic has been been facing the second wave of infections of COVID-19. The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections has been setting new records almost on a daily basis. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Colomba and her brother Nahuel Nuñez perform the Chilean national dance called the "cueca" while their mother Marisol Tobar records a video of their performance with a cellphone for a school project, in downtown Santiago, Chile, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A man wears a muzzle during a protest in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Several hundred Romanians, including many families with young children, held a protest in the country's capital against measures meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus, especially social distancing and the mandatory use of masks in schools. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A man wearing a face mask waits for the start a concert of British violinist Daniel Hope set on a floating stage on the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The Czech Republic has been been facing the second wave of infections of COVID-19. The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections has been setting new records almost on a daily basis. The National Theater is in the background. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
People wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus walk by a poster informing mandatory mask wearing at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. South Korea's new coronavirus tally has fallen below 100 for the first time in more than a month. The banner reads: " Which mask would you wear?" (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A woman takes a selfie with glowing full moon installations at a park in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. The artificial full moons have been installed by a local officials to increase morale during the COVID-19 outbreak and to celebrate the upcoming Chuseok holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Women stand next to glowing full moon installations at a park in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. The artificial full moons have been installed by a local officials to increase morale during the COVID-19 outbreak and to celebrate the upcoming Chuseok holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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The United States, which has the world's third largest population, leads the planet with more than 186,000 Covid-19 deaths and 6.1 million coronavirus infections.

The institute made waves earlier this year when its aggressive forecasts contrasted with President Donald Trump's repeated statements that the coronavirus would disappear. But deaths have surpassed some of the institute's dire predictions, which have been frequently updated to reflect new data, revised assumptions and more sophisticated information sources.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issues forecasts only four weeks in advance, and its latest estimate is for 200,000 to 211,000 dead by Sept. 26.

But the institute said with so many Americans still refusing to wear masks, there remains "an extraordinary opportunity" to save lives.

"Increasing mask use to the levels seen in Singapore would decrease the cumulative death toll to 288,000, or 122,000 lives saved compared to the reference scenario," it said.

"Mask use continues to decline from a peak in early August. Declines are notable throughout the Midwest, including in some states such as Illinois and Iowa with increasing case numbers," the report said.

Although US infections have declined to around 45,000 per day from a peak of around 70,000 per day in July, Covid-19 was the second leading cause of death, the institute said. That would place it behind only heart disease, having surpassed cancer as a cause of death in the United States.

Infection rates have recently fallen in large states such as Texas, Florida and California, leading to the national decline in cases.

But 10 states, many of them in the Midwest, still average more than one secondary case per infected person, an indication of rapid spreading, the report said.

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