Key coronavirus model to revise projections to nearly 135,000 deaths in the United States

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Funeral director Omar Rodriguez walks by coffins at the Gerard J. Neufeld funeral home in Queens, New York, April 26. Bryan R. Smith / Reuters

An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House said in a press release that it plans to revise its projections to nearly 135,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States, an increase that one of its researchers linked relaxed social distancing and increased mobility.

The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, previously predicted 72,433 deaths Monday morning. An IHME press release said the full set of new screenings will be released later this afternoon.

Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics science at IHME, made reference to updated projections on CNN earlier today, but said he could not provide the specific number.

“We are, of course, seeing an increase in projected deaths for several reasons,” John King told CNN in Inside Politics. “One of them is increased mobility before relaxation, premature relaxation of social estrangement, we’re also adding more suspected deaths, and we’re seeing a lot of epidemics in the Midwest, for example.”

According to him, several variables have an impact on infections – such as heat, testing capacity and population density – but “the most important is mobility”.

Right now, he said, “we are seeing an increase in mobility which unfortunately leads to an increase in mortality in the United States.”

The director of the IHME, Dr Christopher Murray, will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. AND today with additional details.


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