US COVID-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December

California has surpassed 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 and is now reporting more cases than any other state in the country.
4:48 | 08/07/20

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Transcript for US COVID-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December
right to the latest on the coronavirus emergency. Overnight, the number of confirmed cases worldwide surpassed 19 million. In the United States there have been more than 4.8 million reported cases the number of American lives has now surpassed 160,000 and new research from the university of Washington is now predicting nearly 300,000 deaths by December 1st. But perhaps a sliver of good news. Hospitalizations are down by 7% from last week. That is some good news. Dr. Birx has issued a warning for nine major cities and California central valley. There are now over 541,000 cases in California, more than any other state in the country. Matt Gutman is there. He starts us off from Burbank. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Good morning, just in L.A. County alone, hundred thousand cases, that's all but three or four states in the country. That's why the hospitals have the overflow covid units ready to go, but the biggest concern in California is for the agricultural belt of the central valley. And in fact, rural areas across the country where covid seem to be growing fastest. As the death toll from the coronavirus here in the U.S. Passes 160,000, concerns that the virus is spreading into rural communities. This morning, new research from the university of Washington predicting the death toll in the United States could reach nearly 300,000 by December 1st. Dr. Deborah birx warning nine cities plus California's central valley that their increase in test positivity could be an early sign of an imminent surge in cases. California now surpassing 10,000 deaths from covid and reporting more cases than any other state in the country. Now Ohio governor Mike dewine confirming he is negative for the coronavirus. The governor first tested positive as part of a routine screening just before he was set to meet with president trump. Everyone who sees the president is tested, so I was tested. I went from there to the airport and when I got to the airport found out shortly thereafter that I had tested positive. So that was a big -- a big surprise. Reporter: In a statement overnight, dewine said he and his family went to wexner medical center to be tested twice. Added that the earlier test was taken with new technology called an antigen test and we don't have much experience with them in Ohio but are researching how the discrepancy between the two tests could have occurred. The false positive adding to confusion about the country's testing capabilities as president trump is now suggesting that a vaccine could be ready by election day. I'm optimistic that it will be probably around that date. I believe we'll have the vaccine before the end of the year, certainly, but around that date, yes. I think so. Reporter: But Anthony Fauci thinks likely not. He's eyeing a target date of early 2021. You might likely get an indication that you know if it works and if it's safe by the end of this calendar year. I might add that I'm cautiously optimistic though you can never guarantee things with the vaccine. Reporter: An emotional toll not getting any easier, not just for older Americans. The San Antonio father is now preparing to bury his 22-year-old daughter. Aspiring nurse battled covid-19 for over a month. Both father and daughter had contracted the virus. That was in my mind, why am I still here and my daughter's not? You might think you're invincible, you might not get we thought the same thing. But we took care of ourselves. We took every precaution available. Reporter: And an increasing number of young Americans battling the virus, some like 29-year-old shaudry were closer to death than to life. She said, Ron, if you can hear this, squeeze my hand and I was holding her finger and I squeezed it. Nurses were telling me, wow, you're back. You're a miracle child. Reporter: Well, it could take months for that miracle child to fully rehab. Now, we mentioned those vaccines. There are 140 vaccine candidates, 26 of them are in clinical trials. Now, you may wonder, well S that overkill, no, it's not. Well, for the entire global population to be vaccinated or 60% of it, multiple companies need to chip in because no single company has the capacity to vaccinate everyone. The experts say the glut of vaccines won't be ready until the end of 2021. Amy?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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