IHME Model Lowers U.S. Coronavirus Death Projections

AP Photo/John Minchillo
AP Photo/John Minchillo

On Monday the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force lowered its projections of coronavirus deaths in the United States by August 4 to 81,776, down more than ten percent from the 93,765 projected on April 1, as Breitbart News reported on Wednesday.

Notably, the model also lowered projections of the number of states that will not have enough regular or ICU hospital beds to admit all identified coronavirus patients at the peak in their states from 37  in the April 1 projection to 20 in Monday’s projections.

Tennessee is one of the states in which IHME lowered projections for deaths and hospital capacity dramatically.

On Friday, the IHME model projected 93,531 coronavirus deaths in the United States by August 4, including more than 3,000 in the Volunteer State. The model also projected Tennessee would not have sufficient hospital capacity on the peak date of April 19. But on Monday, the model lowered the death projections in the state to 587 and projected the state would have more than enough hospital capacity on a new peak date of April 15.

In fact, the IHME model currently projects that there will be a need for 1,232 regular hospital beds on the April 15 peak date, just 16 percent of the 7,812 regular hospital beds in the state. Similarly, the current projections are the state will need 245 ICU hospital beds on the April 15 peak date, just 39 percent of the 629 ICHU hospital beds in the state.

The IHME model projections have consistently overstated the number of hospital beds required for coronavirus patients in most states. Indeed, the most recent data from a number of states indicates that the number of new hospitalizations has been on the decline for several days.

In Florida, for instance, the number of new cumulative coronavirus hospitalizations has declined from 172 on Thursday to 164 on Friday, increased slightly to 175 on Saturday, and decreased to 110 on Sunday, according to the COVID Tracking Project, which updates data several times a day based on information provided by each state’s department of health.

Cumulative coronavirus hospitalization data is similar in several other states that provide this data.

In Ohio, the number of new cumulative coronavirus hospitalizations declined from 123 on Thursday to 93 on Friday, increased to 111 on Saturday, then declined to 98 on Sunday.

In Arizona, the number of new cumulative coronavirus hospitalizations decline from 79 on Thursday to 21 on Friday, increased to 48 on Saturday, then declined to 13 on Sunday.

In Arkansas, one of a handful of states in which the governor has not issued a mandatory stay-at-home order, the number of new cumulative hospitalizations increased by 36 on Wednesday, but in the subsequent four days, it has increased by a total of 40, bringing the total cumulative hospitalizations in the entire state to just 130.

Cumulative hospitalization data even shows signs of decline in hot spot states like New York and Louisiana.

In New York, the number of new cumulative coronavirus hospitalizations increased from 2,449 on Thursday to 2,879 on Friday, declined slightly to 2,787 on Saturday, then declined further to 1,709 on Sunday.

In Lousiana, the number of new cumulative coronavirus hospitalizations declined from 141 on Thursday to 78 on Friday, based on the most recently available data.

Michigan, another coronavirus hot spot state, apparently does not provide hospitalization data.

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