Mayor Bill de Blasio is bracing New Yorkers for a slew of more coronavirus cases, saying he believes that up to half of the population could catch the virus.

"We don't even know, truly, when it first asserted here in the city. There could've been people who had it before we even knew it was here," he told reporters during a briefing. "So what we do know, based on a lot of different projections ... It's a fair bet to say that half of all New Yorkers, and maybe more than half, will end up contracting this disease. And that's worrisome, very deeply worrisome, for all of us, but we have to start with the truth."

He said that the majority of the cases would be mild, but that is still a very high number.

"We have to start with the truth ... As much as we're dealing with a lot of painful realities—a lot of fear—one way to think of this that is a little more hopeful is a certain number of people will not [contract the disease]," he continued. "And that may be 50 percent or 45 percent or 40 percent, whatever it is, a certain number of New Yorkers will not contract this disease this season. And of the ones who do, 80 percent will have a very limited experience. But for that other 20 percent, we have a lot of work to do to protect them."

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