Revised Model Shows U.S. Death Toll Could Be 'Much Lower' Than Projections

As health experts and state leaders warn the public of rough weeks ahead amid the spread of COVID-19, a new forecasting model used by the White House is now predicting that the nation may already be seeing some benefits from "flattening the curve."

The revised model was created at the University of Washington by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and conflicts previous models that showed higher deaths and projected peaks.

“Models are good, they help us to make projections. But as you get data in, you modify your model,” said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I don’t accept everyday we’re going to have to have 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. I think we can really bring that down."

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield also says the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. won't come anywhere near the 100,000-240,000 projected by some of the other models. During a radio interview Monday, Redfield said the number of deaths will be "much, much, much lower" than the models predict, as long as Americans continue to follow social distancing guidelines.

The previous prediction of 100,000-240,000 came from the White House Coronavirus Task Force just last week.

“While we hope that our experience will follow a curve closer to the IHME model, we cannot use a single model for our preparation and risk being underprepared. We continue to refine our models and assumptions and are tailoring them to the DC population and context,” spokeswoman Alison Reeves said.

Read more about the different models and updated predictions on the Washington Post.

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