The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that all statistical models tracked by the agency predict that coronavirus deaths in the U.S. will accelerate in the coming weeks.
‘CDC tracks 12 different forecasting models of possible COVID-19 deaths in the US,’ Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a tweet. ‘As of May 11, all forecast an increase in deaths in the coming weeks and a cumulative total exceeding 100,000 by June 1.’
To date, the pandemic has killed more than 87,000 Americans and more than 1.4 million have tested positive for the infection.
Of the 12 models tracked by the CDC, some take into account changes to social distancing measures in states that have relaxed lockdown restrictions, while others do not.
Charts show the individual (left) and ensemble (right) forecasts of cumulative coronavirus deaths in the US through June 1
CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said that all statistical models tracked by the agency predict that coronavirus deaths in the U.S. will accelerate in the coming weeks
The CDC’s ensemble model, which averages the various forecasts, predicts that the cumulative death toll will reach 105,605 on May 30.
According to the CDC, states with high numbers of deaths reported to date are likely to see substantial increases in the coming weeks, while states with low numbers of deaths so far are not likely to see a rapid rise.
So far, the states with the highest per capita death tolls are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Louisiana.
Those with the lowest per capita deaths are Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.
The CDC’s ensemble model predicts that cumulative deaths in New York, currently at 22,304, will hit 30,897 by the end of the month.
The CDC’s ensemble model predicts that cumulative deaths in New York, currently at 22,304, will hit 30,897 by the end of the month
The CDC says that it tracks the models because ‘forecasts of deaths will help inform public health decision-making by projecting the likely impact in coming weeks.’
Statistical models such as the ones tracked by the CDC have come under criticism as the pandemic unfolded, after some made wild predictions of millions of deaths that have failed to be born out by reality.
The latest forecasts come as many states move to relax lockdown restrictions that have devastated the economy in the name of slowing the spread of the virus.
On Thursday, the CDC released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page ‘decision tool’ documents that use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening.
The tools are for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants. The CDC originally also authored a document for churches and other religious facilities, but that wasn’t posted Thursday. The agency declined to say why.
Early versions of the documents included detailed information for churches wanting to restart in-person services, with suggestions including maintaining distance between parishioners and limiting the size of gatherings.
The faith-related guidance was taken out after the White House raised concerns about the recommended restrictions, according to government emails and a person inside the agency who didn’t have permission to talk with reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Thursday, a Trump administration official also speaking on condition of anonymity said there were concerns about the propriety of the government making specific dictates to places of worship.
And Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, said ‘protections against religious discrimination aren’t suspended during an emergency.
‘This means the federal government cannot single out religious conduct as somehow being more dangerous or worthy of scrutiny than comparable secular behavior.’