As of Monday, May 4, nearly 69,200 individuals in the United States have died from COVID-19. President Trump predicted in April that 60,000 Americans would die from the virus.
Now that the actual number of deaths has surpassed President Trump’s earlier prediction, he said on Sunday that he expects up to 100,000.
According to a draft internal government report received by The New York Times, there likely will be a sharp increase in both cases and deaths beginning about May 14. The daily death toll is projected to reach about 3,000 on June 1, up from about 1,750 currently. Furthermore, the report predicts 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month. The current number of cases per day is about 25,000. The report’s forecast stops at June 1, but there is an upward trajectory at that point in both dailly cases and deaths.
The projections indicate that reopening the economy will set the country back even more in terms of public health. Some states that have partially reopened are still seeing increases in cases such as Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska according to Times data.
Judd Deere, a White House spokesperson, said in a statement that “this is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the coronavirus task force or gone through interagency vetting.”
Justin Lesser, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, created the model and told The Washington Post that the numbers in the report are uncompleted projections shown to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a work in progress.
“I had no role in the process by which that was presented and shown. This data was presented as an FYI to CDC … it was not in any way intended to be a forecast,” Lessler told the newspaper. However, he also said “there are reopening scenarios where it could get out of control very quickly” depending on the political decisions that will be made.