A well-known coronavirus model that previously has been cited by the White House now forecasts that more than 317,000 people in the United States will die from Covid-19 by December.
As of Friday morning, the model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that 317,312 people may die from the illness — marking an increase of about 8,000 deaths from a previous estimate the model projected one week ago.
Since January, US health authorities have identified more than 5 million Covid-19 cases so far nationwide and more than 180,000 people have died, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The new IHME estimate suggests that the United States could see more than 136,000 additional deaths between now and December, and the daily death rate could rise to more than 2,000 per day.
Yet IHME researchers noted on their website on Thursday, when the update to their model was made, that "if mask wearing in public increases to 95%, more than 67,000 lives could be saved."
The updated IHME model also shows some state-by-state differences.
"Over the last week some estimates for states such as California and Texas have decreased, while Florida, Georgia, and Illinois have increased," the researchers wrote.
As with any model, these forecasts are only projections — not definitive — and are subject to change.