Important Coronavirus Model Lowers Projected Deaths In One State By More Than 70 Percent

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Posted: Apr 18, 2020 7:00 PM
Important Coronavirus Model Lowers Projected Deaths In One State By More Than 70 Percent

Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

A coronavirus model used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force has once again lowered the number of projected deaths in the United States. While the model forecasts a higher number of deaths in places like New York and New Jersey, the model now sees a much lower number of deaths happening in places like Massachusetts and Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida was sharply criticized for not locking down the state fast enough. 

Scientists at the University of Washington developed the "Murray Model," named after Dr. Christopher Murray, that has been cited routinely by White House officials over the course of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Instead of 68,841 expected deaths in the U.S., with a range of 30,188 to 175,965, the revised model now forecasts 60,308 deaths, with a range of 34,063 to 140,381. 

"We try to take into account all the data that is coming in from all the states and so all of our numbers are going to be revised as we see progress faster or slower. But, overall, we think that the general trend that we’ve seen since the beginning is a range between 40,000 to 150,000 deaths being where we’ll fallout for the country come June," Dr. Murray told Fox News on Friday.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Dr. Murray said the number of expected deaths is much lower despite the peak of the outbreak in places like New York lasting longer than scientists originally anticipated. But overall, the number of deaths in the U.S. was revised downward as a result of lower-than-expected deaths in states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia and Florida. 

Earlier this week, the Murray Model estimated 4,748 Floridians would die from the virus by the end of summer. Now, the model predicts 1,363 Floridians will succumb to the Wuhan coronavirus. The revision represents a reduction of more than 70 percent. Experts and pundits were quick to criticize Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and warned of a catastrophic death toll due to the governor's decision to wait until early April to close down the state. DeSantis was hesitant to close the entire state, citing various negative impacts of doing so, but schools were closed in mid-March and some local jurisdictions instituted their own stay-at-home orders before the statewide orders took effect. 

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