Model used to project impact of COVID-19 projects higher death toll in the US

Model used to project impact of COVID-19 projects higher death toll in the US
Posted at 10:51 PM, Apr 27, 2020

The University of Washington’s IHME model, which is used by the White House and other government agencies for guidance, is now projecting a higher US death toll from COVID-19.

Late Monday, the model increased its projected death toll to 74,073, up from nearly 67,000 a week ago, and 60,000 two weeks ago. The number is still down from a month ago, when it projected around 90,000 US coronavirus-related deaths.

As of late Monday, Johns Hopkins University reported more than 56,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the US.

IHME director Christopher Murray said that if states follow through with relaxing mitigation efforts too soon, the projected death toll will climb higher.

Murray told CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday that the peak of the virus is “not going away as fast as we thought.”

Murray added, “If you’re trying to protect people’s health, absolutely (that it’s too early to reopen state economies).”

Murray’s IHME projection shows an expected death toll of up to 122,000 from the coronavirus, but he warned that his model is based on states following IHME guidance on when to reopen the economy. In some cases, the IHME model says it is not until late June for when states should lift “stay at home orders.”

To see the IHME’s recommendation for your state, click here.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .