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AGAIN: Top coronavirus model significantly lowers total estimates of US deaths in new projection

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Revised down again – ‘significantly”. When is reality going to inform actions? Remember these models were designed with social distancing.

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Top coronavirus model significantly lowers total estimates of US deaths in new projection

By Adam Shaw | Fox News April 18, 2002:

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A key coronavirus model has lowered its estimate of total U.S. deaths in its latest projection of how many will die due to the contagious virus.

The revision will likely fuel criticism from skeptics that initial projections were overblown, and one that government leaders may use to say that efforts to combat the spread are working.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) lowered its projection of total deaths from 68,841 (with an estimate range of 30,188 to 175,965) to just over 60,308 (with an estimate range of 34,063 to 140,381) in an update published Friday.

The institute said that change was partially driven by both higher estimates in states like New York and New Jersey, and lower projections in states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia and Florida.

“By incorporating the trend in cases alongside COVID-19 deaths in our model, many locations are now predicted to have longer peaks and are taking longer to move down the epidemic curve to zero deaths,” a statement from the institute said. “Subsequently, these places now have higher projections for cumulative COVID-19 deaths through the first wave.”

The projection is significantly lower than prior estimates from the IHME, which last month was predicting 84,000 deaths from the virus.

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Those supportive of such modeling say that it is not a crystal ball, but a snapshot of a situation based on the data and facts available at the time. As those facts change, so do the models. Since those 84,000 estimates, more states have implemented sweeping social distancing and lockdown measures in an effort to slow the spread of infections. Revising models show that those strategies are working, they say.

“That is modeled on what America is doing. That’s what’s happening,” Dr. Deborah Birx told reporters last week when asked about the modeling.

“It’s a little bit like forecasting the weather,” Dr. Christopher Murray, who helps create the model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told “America’s Newsroom” anchor Ed Henry on Friday.

“We try to take into account all the data that is coming in from all the states and so all of our numbers are going to be revised as we see progress faster or slower. But, overall, we think that the general trend that we’ve seen since the beginning is a range between 40,000 to 150,000 deaths being where we’ll fallout for the country come June,” he said.
Influential coronavirus model predicts US deaths may stop by summer

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