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Statistician paints grim picture of COVID-19’s rise

Coronavirus research
University of Washington researchers work with the virus that causes COVID-19 in a restricted lab. (UW Medicine via YouTube)

In a newly published study, a University of Washington researcher argues that the eventual death toll from COVID-19 could be more than twice as high as the figures currently being discussed.

The study was written by Anirban Basu, a health economist and statistician who’s the director of UW’s Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy and Economics Institute, also known as the CHOICE Institute.

In his research paper, published online May 7 by the journal Health Affairs, Basu acknowledges there’s still lots of uncertainty surrounding the fatality rate for the disease caused by the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. But he says there’s evidence that the U.S. death toll could amount to 350,000 to 1.2 million.

“This is a staggering number, which can only be brought down with sound public health measures,” Basu said in an interview with MedicalResearch.com.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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