US Projects 3,000 Daily COVID-19 Deaths By June


As Donald Trump proclaimed success in America’s fight against the coronavirus and continued to push for the US economy to reopen, reports emerged on Monday that internal projections indicate the administration is expecting 3,000 deaths a day by June 1, 2020

At present, between 1,000 and 2,000 deaths are being reported in the US each day.

New York Times says it has obtained document suggesting that the United States (US) government expects daily death toll to rise throughout the month of May 2020

According to the New York Times, the “internal document” contain projections “based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema)”.

CDC and Fema “forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now”, the paper said.

The report followed a Washington Post presentation on Saturday that said the Trump White House had followed a model for economic recovery written by Kevin Hassett, an adviser “with no background in infectious diseases”.

“By the end of April,” the Post reported, “with more Americans dying in the month than in all of the Vietnam war, it became clear that the Hassett model was too good to be true. ‘A catastrophic miss,’ as a former senior administration official briefed on the data described it.”

However, the White House attempted to pour cold water on the New York Times story.

In a statement, a spokesman, Judd Deere, said: “This is not a White House document, nor has it been presented to the coronavirus taskforce or gone through inter-agency vetting.

“This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the taskforce or data that the taskforce has analyzed.”

According to data from researchers at Johns Hopkins University, by lunchtime on Monday the US had recorded nearly 1,160,000 Covid-19 cases and nearly 68,000 deaths. The states worst hit are on the east and west coasts, with New York by far the hotspot, although Michigan and Louisiana have also been hard hit. Cases are rising in cities and rural areas.

But more than half of the 50 states are now attempting some form of easing of lockdown measures. Some states led by Republican governors have sought to move more swiftly.

Also on Monday, the influential Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (IHME), a team that has been cited by the White House, revised a key piece of coronavirus modeling and almost doubled its prediction for the US death toll in next three months.

The IHME is now forecasting at least 134,000 deaths in the US by 4 August, while previously it had predicted just over 74,000 deaths.

Trump, who is heavily dependent on economic recovery for his hopes of re-election in November, spoke in favor of reopening measures at a Fox News town hall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Sunday evening.

“I really believe that you can go to parks, you can go to beaches … [if] you stay away a certain amount,” Trump said, adding that it was possible to balance the demands of anti-lockdown protesters with those of governors and public health experts who warn against reopening too soon.

One of those experts, White House Coronavirus Task force response coordinator, Dr Deborah Birx, told Fox News Sunday the anti-lockdown protests were “devastatingly worrisome to me personally, because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or a very … or an unfortunate outcome, they will feel guilty for the rest of our lives”. – From The Guardian

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