Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Help Metrics and Evaluation, told CNN Tonight that they’ve adjusted their scientific model to increase the predicted death toll from the novel coronavirus to 74,000.
“Our forecast now is for 74,000 deaths. That’s our best estimate. The range is pretty wide because there’s a lot of unknown factors there, but our best estimate is going up, and we see these protracted, long peaks in some states,” Murray said.
“We’re also seeing signs in the mobility data that people are getting more active, and that’s also feeding into our assessment.”
The model had previously forecast 60,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Murray said this data would also impact their recommendations on when social distancing could be relaxed on a state-by-state basis. He said their recommendations would shift out past the mid-May to early June dates they had previously suggested.
Murray said he thinks that states are opening too early.
“If you’re focused on trying to protect people’s health, then the answer is absolutely. It’s a safer strategy to get the number of infections in the community down to a really low level and then testing and contact tracing and isolation can work,” Murray said.
More than 56,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.