A top coronavirus model is predicting that 100,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19 by the end of the summer – as the US death toll surpasses President Donald Trump’s best-case scenario of 60,000 deaths. The MOBS model from the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University also estimates that there will be about 89,000 deaths by mid-May if stay-at-home orders remain in place. That death toll would increase to over one million in an unmitigated scenario, according to the projections that are among those used by the CDC to forecast the pandemic.
As of Thursday, the U.S. death toll is now at 63,538 and there are more than one million infections across the country. Trump, in recent weeks, had suggested that 60,000 might be the total death count from COVID-19. He had cited the estimate as a sign of relative success after the White House previously warned the US could suffer 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. Another 2,389 Americans died from coronavirus on Wednesday after a brief lull in new fatalities.
Daily deaths had been on the decline in recent days, dropping below 2,000 on Saturday and continuing to fall on Sunday and Monday. New deaths recorded fell to 1,315 on Monday, the first-time daily fatalities in the US had been this low since April 5, before climbing again this week. New cases also spiked on Wednesday with 28,259 new infections, bringing the total to 1,065,245 cases. Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, on March 29 revealed models projecting the deaths of 100,00-240,000 Americans, assuming social distancing efforts were ongoing. At the same time, she said epidemiology models initially had predicted a worst-case scenario of 1.5 million to 2.2 million US deaths without mitigation efforts such as social distancing, hand washing and staying home as much as possible. Soon after, Trump began speculating that the 100,000 figure was an outer limit. Later, he leaned more toward the 60,000 projection. ‘The minimum number was 100,000 lives and I think we’ll be substantially under that number,’ he said April 10. ‘Hard to believe that if you had 60,000 – you could never be happy, but that’s a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking.’ – Daily Mail