For many, the past few weeks have felt like wave after wave of ostensibly bad news, piled high on top of shoulders.
The COVID-19 pandemic is very real, and Americans were not quite as prepared as we would have liked to have been. This is due, in no small part, to the data manipulation conducted by China when releasing their information on the virus to the world. As we work to determine whether or not this was a nefarious attempt to weaken an unsuspecting planet, or sheer negligence by the often-primitive communist regime, there will certainly be a question of whether or not China should be held partially responsible for the pandemic’s toll.
And while all of this uncertainty still exists, there are some reasons to be hopeful.
As of Monday, the model predicted the virus will kill 81,766 people in the United States over the next four months, with just under 141,000 hospital beds being needed. That’s about 12,000 fewer deaths — and 121,000 fewer hospital beds — than the model estimated on Thursday.
A “massive infusion of new data” led to the adjustments, according to the model’s maker, Dr. Christopher Murray, who serves as director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Additional data on the pandemic’s trajectory — in the United States and around the world — has always been expected, along with methodological changes to fine-tune the predictions. And from the start, researchers at IHME, who built the model, have emphasized that it would change.
These new predictions are dependent upon how well Americans stick to the social distancing guidelines put in place by the White House, and certainly are not meant to be signal for life to return immediately to normal.
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