Coronavirus deaths projected to rise, Trump administration report says

Coronavirus deaths projected to rise, Trump administration report says

Transporter Morgan Dean-McMillan prepares the body of a COVID-19 victim at a morgue in Montgomery county, Maryland on April 17, 2020.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

The Trump administration projects that the number of coronavirus deaths will increase to about 3,000 each day by early June, The New York Times reported Monday, citing an internal report.

The interagency report from the U.S. departments of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, also reportedly forecasts that the U.S. will see about 200,000 new Covid-19 cases each day by the end of this month.

The sobering projections come as President Donald Trump has pushed to start reopening the country, and expressed support for protesters against state restrictions on businesses and social gatherings in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

A DHS chart showing projected deaths per cday on May 4th, 2020.

Source: DHS

Trump said on Fox News on Sunday that the U.S. death toll from the pandemic could reach 100,000.

But he also said, “I really believe that you can go to parks, you can go to beaches” if  “you stay away a certain amount.”

Less than a month earlier, Trump had said that the country will see “substantially” fewer than 100,000 dead from the disease.

Federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, use multiple models for projecting the number of cases and deaths the U.S. is likely to experience. Those projections can change significantly, and some models, such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s model, have been criticized as unreliable.

The DHS and the CDC did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment on the Times’ report. The White House also did not immediately provide comment.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC earlier Monday that the U.S. has plateaued at about 30,000 new cases a day and 2,000 new deaths a day. 

Gottlieb said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the strict social distancing policies implemented by governors “didn’t work as well as we expected” in slowing the spread of the disease.

“We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point. And we’re just not seeing that,” Gottlieb said.

While some coronavirus hot spots such as New York share encouraging signs that the virus is on the decline, other parts of the country are seeing a rise in new cases. Gottlieb said new cases are increasing in about 20 states.

At least 67,686 Covid-19 deaths have been confirmed in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.1 million cases of the disease have been confirmed, Johns Hopkins reports.

The Times’ report came as more state and local leaders start to relax the restrictions put on residents and businesses.

Trump has encouraged governors to “reopen” their states and restart the economy, which has virtually ground to a halt amid the efforts to prevent transmission of the disease.

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