Coronavirus modelers raise projected death toll

COVID-19 death projection
A chart created by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation traces the actual and projected trend line for daily COVID-19 deaths in the United States between March 1 and July 1, as solid and dotted lines respectively. The pink shaded area indicates a wide uncertainty interval for future death rates. (IHME Graphic)

The timeline has slipped to the right and the projected death toll has trended upward in a new projection from the creators of a closely watched computer model for the course of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.

Tonight’s update from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation raises the outlook for the cumulative U.S. death toll through Aug. 4 from the 67,641 fatalities projected on April 22 to a new figure of 74,073.

That’s creeping closer to the death toll of 81,114 that IHME laid out in its first projection, way back in late March. Since then, the figures have gone as high as 93,000 and as low as 60,000.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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