An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House now predicts that 134,000 people will die of Covid-19 in the United States, almost double the previous prediction.
The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, had predicted 72,433 deaths as of Monday morning.
Similarly, a Trump administration model predicts an increase in coronavirus cases and deaths in the coming weeks, to around 3,000 daily deaths in the U.S. by June 1, according to an internal document obtained from the New York Times. Last week, around 2,000 people died every day in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Why the increase? The strong increases in the two models are related to relaxed social distancing and increased mobility in the United States. States across the country – including Florida, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina – have loosened restrictions in an attempt to revive a spitting economy and calm restless residents.
The director of IHME, dr. Christopher Murray told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that other factors included states that added to their alleged coronavirus deaths and the increasing number of cases in some meat packaging plants in the country.
He said states must balance their actions.
“I think the challenge for all of us is to understand what the relaxation trajectory of social distance is at a measured pace that will protect us from large increases or even a large-scale recovery,” he told CNN.
The risk of reopening: The projections make it clear that these reopenings pose fatal risks.
“It’s simple logic,” said CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. “When you say to people, ‘Hey, you can go to bars, you can do your nails, you can go to a restaurant’, those numbers will go up.”
The incubation period of the new coronavirus – or the time elapsed since exposure to developing symptoms – varies from two to 14 days, According to the center for disease prevention and controland the virus can also widespread among people who show no symptoms at all. With widespread tests still limited, the consequences of these reopenings may not be evident for several weeks.
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