The media and the Democrats are making much of reports that the U.S. reached an estimated 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday. However, in March, experts’ models said 200,000 deaths was considered the low-end estimate with “full mitigation.”
At the outset of the pandemic, the experts on the president’s coronavirus task force suggested that the U.S. could reach 2.2 million deaths without any mitigation. They suggested that a best-case scenario with “full mitigation” could reach 200,000.
As Dr. Deborah Birx said in a March 30, 2020 press briefing at the White House: “So in the model — and there’s a — there’s a large confidence interval, and so it’s anywhere in the model between 80,000 and 160,000, maybe even potentially 200,000 people succumbing to this. That’s with mitigation. In that model, they make full assumption that we continue doing exactly what we’re doing, but even better, in every metro area with a level of intensity.”
President Trump added that the experts had said that if the U.S. kept deaths between 100,000 and 200,000, it will “have done a very good job.” He noted that the models predicted that deaths would reach 2.2 million — “and maybe even beyond that” — without full mitigation measures.
Since then, many areas of the country implemented aggressive mitigation measures — and others did not. There were also thousands of Black Lives Matter protests — and riots in 48 out of the country’s 50 major cities — in which people did not observe coronavirus restrictions or “social distancing.”
Many local officials participated in, and encouraged, the protests; some later acknowledged that the protests had been a factor in creating a second surge in infections over the summer.
The number of cases continues to rise, though the number of new cases has fallen in many areas, and death rates are currently falling. New spikes in cases in Europe have prompted experts to warn of the need for continued vigilance.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.