By Robert A. Vella

Yesterday, the University of Washington model – which the Trump administration has touted most often – nearly doubled its forecasted number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 to over 134,000 by early August.  Currently, the number of confirmed fatalities and infections stand at 71,000 and 1.22 million respectively.  The reason why the UW model revised its projection upward is because its prior assumption that the nation would continue “stay at home” orders is no longer applicable since many states are now moving forward with plans to reopen their economies.  The revision was received negatively by the White House, and the CDC subsequently removed the model from its website.

In comparison, the UW model forecasts have always been more conservative than many others including one studied inside the Trump administration and obtained by The New York Times projecting a dramatic rise in the number of deaths this summer.  Consequently, the White House is trying to distance itself from that model too.

Although these and all coronavirus models are only statistical forecasts based on the available data and current assumptions of variables (i.e. not predictions), there are other more straightforward projections which can be drawn based on what has already been measured.  If we consider the limited amount of testing which has been done so far with the number of documented infections and fatalities, we can see the potential extent and severity of the pandemic;  and, this kind of analysis indicates big trouble ahead for America.

As of May 4th, the U.S. has tested 7,287,969 of its 328,286,892 residents (22,203 per million).  That’s only 2.22% of the population.  Of those, 1,173,257 tested positive for COVID-19 (3,574 per million).  That means about 16.1% of people tested were positive and roughly 1% have died.  If we extrapolate this death rate to the total number of Americans who could eventually become infected (all of the following scenarios are statistically possible), then the potential scale of the death toll can be visualized:

  • If 10% of the U.S. population becomes infected, that projects out to about 330,000 deaths.
  • If 25% of the U.S. population becomes infected, that projects out to about 825,000 deaths.
  • If 50% of the U.S. population becomes infected, that projects out to about 1,650,000 deaths.

This is why medical experts keep asserting that social isolation is so necessary.

Here’s today’s news:

From:  Coronavirus in the U.S.: An Unrelenting Crush of Cases and Deaths

The country is still in the firm grip of a pandemic with little hope of release. For every indication of improvement in controlling the virus, new outbreaks have emerged elsewhere, leaving the nation stuck in a steady, unrelenting march of deaths and infections.

As states continue to lift restrictions meant to stop the virus, impatient Americans are freely returning to shopping, lingering in restaurants and gathering in parks. Regular new flare-ups and super-spreader events are expected to be close behind.

Any notion that the coronavirus threat is fading away appears to be magical thinking, at odds with what the latest numbers show.

Coronavirus in America now looks like this: More than a month has passed since there was a day with fewer than 1,000 deaths from the virus. Almost every day, at least 25,000 new coronavirus cases are identified, meaning that the total in the United States — which has the highest number of known cases in the world with more than a million — is expanding by between 2 and 4 percent daily.

From:  Relaxed restrictions across US will have a dire impact on coronavirus death toll, experts warn

A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is now predicting the US could see 134,475 deaths by early August — a massive spike since its previous prediction of 74,000 deaths just last week.

A separate model from the Trump administration is also projecting that cases and deaths will rise in the next weeks, with the death toll reaching 3,000 daily victims by June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times.

From:  Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Administration Models Predict Near Doubling of Daily Death Toll by June

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, not much has changed. And the reopening to the economy will make matters worse.

See also:  White House disavows administration forecast of 3,000 coronavirus deaths a day by June

From:  White House prohibits coronavirus task force members from testifying before Congress in May

White House coronavirus task force members are prohibited from testifying before Congress this month under new guidance from the Trump administration issued Monday.

Task force members and key deputies have been instructed not to accept invitations to participate in congressional hearings in May, while other agencies responding to the pandemic are being advised to limit the number of hearings they attend.

From:  ‘Come after me’: Ohio’s GOP Gov. Mike DeWine calls out ‘obnoxious’ protesters who targeted health chief, news media

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he doesn’t like to comment on demonstrations, but on Monday he felt he had to.

Yet another round of protests over the state’s social-distancing rules took place on the capitol grounds in Columbus on Friday. According to WSYX, some protesters tried to open the building’s basement windows and yell into them just as DeWine’s daily briefing began, reminiscent of the protesters who pressed themselves up against the glass at the same building last month. But what really caught the governor’s eye were the people some of the demonstrators were yelling at: reporters and the state health chief.


Later, roughly two dozen demonstrators showed up at the private family home of Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton on Saturday, holding signs that said, “Dr. Over-Re-Acton Hairstylists are Essential” or “Let Freedom Work,” Cleveland.com reported.

From:  A mutant coronavirus has emerged, even more contagious than the original, study says

Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.

In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

From:  15 children are hospitalized in New York City with an inflammatory syndrome that could be linked to coronavirus

Fifteen children in New York City have been hospitalized with symptoms compatible with a multi-system inflammatory syndrome possibly linked to the coronavirus, according to a health alert issued by the New York City Health Department on Monday.

The patients, ages 2 to 15 years, were hospitalized from April 17 to May 1, according to the alert.

Several tested positive for Covid-19 or had positive antibody tests.

Some of the patients experienced persistent fever and features similar to Kawasaki disease or features of toxic shock syndrome, the alert said.


USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors still showing virus symptoms despite month of isolation

Texas back in business? Barely, y’all, as malls, restaurants empty

Americans widely oppose reopening most businesses, despite easing of restrictions in some states, Post-U. Md. poll finds

Trump cheers on governors even as they ignore White House coronavirus guidelines in race to reopen

CNN sends Trump campaign cease-and-desist letter for misleading ad

George Conway group knocks Trump with new ad: ‘Mourning in America’

Before pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.

India records highest spike in Covid-19 cases

How Hong Kong contained its second wave of Covid-19

New lows for deaths in France, Spain and Italy

16 thoughts on “Big Trouble Ahead: The projected pandemic numbers don’t look good

  1. The US has 3% of the world’s population, and 30+% of confirmed Covid-19 cases. MAGA!! MAGA!!! WTF does Trump think is going to happen? The economy will reopen and people will not pay attention to their relatives and friends getting sick and perhaps dying? Man, we are in for a shit storm of pain, my friend. Like the great porn star John Holmes said when he first dropped his pants on camera, “You all ain’t seen nuttin’ yet!”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for this account, Bob. As I watch the protests unfolding in America, some states opening up too soon and carelessly, I feel utter dismay. How can people be so utterly stupid? It is nothing short of reckless endangerment. And of course there are stupid yahoos doing similar kinds of protests here in Canada. As a senior with diabetes, I wonder if this world will ever be safe again for people like me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know, John. It’s a difficult question. I would add that as careless, reckless, and stupid as these right-wing nutjobs are, they are also callous and even malevolent towards the victims of COVID-19. Stupidity is correctable, but heartlessness is not.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Meanderings of Manic Mind: Today’s news on the coronavirus pandemic and President Trump | The Secular Jurist

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