More than a half million people in the United States could die from Covid-19 by the end of February next year, but around 130,000 of those lives could be saved if everybody were to wear masks, according to estimates from a modelling study.
The estimates, from a study by researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, show that with few effective Covid-19 treatment options and no vaccines yet available, the US faces "a continued Covid-19 public health challenge through the winter".
Large, populous states such as California, Texas and Florida will likely face particularly high levels of illness, deaths and demands on hospital resources, the study found.
US President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 221,000 Americans so far, has become the top election issue for him and Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Polls have shown that Americans trust Biden more than Trump to handle the crisis.