Key coronavirus model revised downward, predicts 60K deaths in US by August

A key forecasting model used by the White House has revised its prediction of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., now estimating a peak of 60,415 by early August. 

The model created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington had predicted a peak of 81,766 deaths in an update on Sunday. 

Public health experts, including Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have previously estimated that as many as 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from the novel coronavirus. 

Across the U.S., nearly 400,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and 12,911 related deaths reported as of Wednesday morning, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Different models forecasting the coronavirus pandemic are offering varied predictions, however.

The IHME, for example, predicts the peak hospital resource use is coming in just a few days, on Sunday, while other models officials have cited don’t show the outbreak peaking for months. 

Leaders in Washington, D.C., recently predicted that the pandemic may not peak until June 28, The Washington Post noted. 

A spokesperson for the district told the Post officials are using several models, including the one from the IHME, to prepare. 

“While we hope that our experience will follow a curve closer to the IHME model, we cannot use a single model for our preparation and risk being underprepared. We continue to refine our models and assumptions and are tailoring them to the DC population and context,” spokeswoman Alison Reeves told the newspaper in an email.

In New York state, a hot spot for the outbreak, the three-day average of new hospitalizations continued to fall as of Tuesday morning, a sign possibly indicating social distancing measures could mitigate the spread of the disease. 

New York had its largest one-day increase in deaths Tuesday, with 731 people dying from the novel coronavirus. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said it’s a “lagging indicator” of the outbreak.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Anthony Fauci Coronavirus

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