A coronavirus model that has been cited by the White House now projects that fewer people will die in the United States by August.
In a Tuesday update, the model revised its forecast to 132,000 deaths -- which is 11,000 fewer than it projected a week ago.
Built by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the model is one of more than a dozen highlighted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website. An ensemble forecast from the CDC, which relies on multiple models, projects that US deaths will exceed 110,000 by June 13.
The White House cited the IHME model often in April, but it has been criticized by some for its assumptions and performance. The model has undergone a number of revisions in the past few weeks.
As states began reopening, IHME upped its forecast for the number of US deaths, based in part on cell phone mobility data that showed people moving around more. But the institute began revising its projections downwards last week, saying an expected increase in infections had not yet occurred.
Dr. Christopher Murray, the IHME director, said that might have been because of behavioral changes such as mask wearing. The institute has since described its plan for gathering data on how many Americans wear masks. It’s not clear what drove down the model’s projections on Tuesday, however.