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A participant in the NIH 2019-2020 Medical Research Scholars Program.

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Prognosis: Grim

As delta surges, what can we expect if vaccination and mask-wearing rates don’t change? According to investigators who previously developed the COVID-19 Simulator — which models the trajectory of the illness in the U.S. at the state and national levels — the combination of variant’s high transmissibility, low vaccination coverage in several regions, and more relaxed attitudes toward social distancing will likely lead to a surge in COVID-19–related deaths in at least 40 states.