IHME Model Lowers U.S. Coronavirus Death Projections by 25% to 60,415

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7: A person is transported from an ambulance to the emergency room at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center on April 7, 2020 in New York, United States. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday in his daily briefing that 731 people had died since the prior …
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The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force lowered its projections for coronavirus deaths in the U.S. by 25 percent from 81,766 to 60,415 early Wednesday morning.

The IHME model has come under withering criticism for vastly overstating projections of regular and ICU hospital beds needed, but its death projections to date have closely tracked with actual data.

Wednesday’s dramatic reverse in the model’s projection of U.S. deaths was made without a press release from IHME explaining the reasons for the reduction. It marks the second reduction in the model’s U.S. deaths projections since April 1, when it forecast 93,765 U.S. fatalities.

On April 5, the death projections were lowered to 81,766.

“Our estimates assume statewide social distancing measures are continuing in states where they have already been enacted, and for those states without such measures in place, it is assumed they will be will be in place within seven days,” IHME director Christopher Murray said on April 5.

“If social distancing measures are relaxed or not implemented, the U.S. will see greater death tolls, the death peak will be later, the burden on hospitals will be much greater, and the economic costs will continue to grow,” Murray aded.

The April 8 iteration of the IHME model has reduced the projections of coronavirus deaths in New York State to 13,307, down from the April 6 projection of more than 15,000.

It persists, however, in claiming there will be a shortage of regular hospital beds in New York State on the peak day of Wednesday April 8, despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statement at Tuesday’s press conference the state has “more than enough beds available.”

As Breitbart News reported, the IHME model has a serious flaw when it comes to the way it projects hospital bed needs by state during the coronavirus pandemic:

Though the IHME model updates its results with real time actual data for number of COVID-19 cases and number of COVID-19 deaths, it does not update those results with actual regular hospital bed or actual ICU hospital bed data. Instead, the model apparently projects regular hospital bed requirements and ICU bed requirements based on an anticipated mathematical relationship between actual COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths with hospital bed requirements.

The latest lowering of U.S. coronavirus deaths by what is considered the most influential model to date is likely to play a significant role in the ongoing public dialogue about when social distancing rules can be relaxed around the country.

The debate now is likely to focus at state-specific and county or city-specific mitigation requirements.


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