The researchers whose model the White House has used to help guide its coronavirus response lowered their estimate Sunday for the number of Americans projected to die during the first wave of the pandemic.
The model, from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, now projects 81,766 deaths in the United States through Aug. 1, with most of the fatalities occurring by the middle of May. The IHME team projected a range of between 49,431 and 136,401 for the same period.
Before Sunday, the researchers estimated a range of between 39,966 and 177,866 deaths in the United States from coronavirus, with a best-guess estimate of 93,531 deaths.
The 11,765 fewer deaths would mark a 14% decrease for the model’s target projection, and a 30% decrease for the worst-case scenario.
The good news comes as many have begun to wonder how long we can actually go on like we currently are. The small victory shows there is a light at the end of the tunnel in this war against the virus from China.
President Donald Trump said Sunday that the coronavirus model the White House has been using overestimated the number of beds that would be needed to treat patients.
The president admitted that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model his administration was using has been off on the number of hospital beds needed, but did not say whether he would be open to changing the type of models he’s been using.
“It’s turning out that we need less hospital beds,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force’s daily press briefing. “We may have models, but we’ve been sort of saying that. In New York, we were saying we think you’re gonna need less.”
The model projected that New York would need 65,400 hospital beds by April 4, but only 15,905 were actually used, according to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson.