Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, (NIAID) has revised his original prediction that between 100,000 to 240,000 people would die in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Fauci, according to NPR, now believes that it “looks more like 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000” deaths from COVID-19 that were originally forecast.
On March 16, one scientific report claimed that without action, social distancing and stay-at-home orders, 2.2 million Americans would die from the coronavirus. The new 60,000 number is just 2.7% of that original dire prediction.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington reflects Dr. Facui’s comments. The IHME model projects 60,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, just a fraction of what was first projected. Some of that reduction is due to social distancing policies that have been in effect for several weeks, better handwashing and other hygiene practices.
On March 31, The Daily Citizen reported that President Trump stated in a press conference he wanted to keep deaths from the coronavirus under 200,000, and that doing so would be a great victory.
Some are questioning whether the current system for reporting COVID-19 deaths is accurate.
Dr. Deborah Birx, in the White House press conference on Tuesday April 7, stated that the death of any person who dies with the coronavirus, no matter if they had a preexisting condition, is counted as one due to the coronavirus.
“I think in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality,” Dr. Birx began. “There are other countries where if you had a preexisting condition, it would not be counted as a COVID-19 death. Right now, if someone dies with COVID-19 in the United States, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.”
This means that if someone is admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, and subsequently dies from a heart attack, that death is counted as a COVID-19 fatality.
One state is now taking an even more liberal approach to counting COVID-19 deaths. According to The Daily Wire, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said doctors in his state will begin counting COVID-19 deaths from patients who exhibit coronavirus symptoms, but haven’t officially been tested for the virus.
It’s great news to hear that the original models projecting 2.2 million COVID-19 deaths, and then 240,000 deaths, were not accurate. It’s fair to wonder whether the projections will change again soon.
As all Americans can agree, the less death from the coronavirus, the better. As the models continue to be revised, our leaders should also take into account the economic cost of social distancing policies, which so far has taken over 16 million jobs in just three weeks.
For more helpful info on navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our #ThriveAtHome page.
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