The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the CCP virus death toll across the United States will be much lower than projected.
Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC, predicted on Tuesday that it will be “much, much, much lower” than what some models have shown—coming after tens of millions of Americans followed social distancing guidelines and numerous businesses were closed.
“First, models are only as good as their assumptions. Obviously, there was a lot unknown about this virus,” Redfield remarked to KVOI in Arizona.
Some models assumed only that about 50 percent of Americans would follow social distancing guidelines, he noted. Some models predicted anywhere from 100,000 deaths to more than 2 million deaths in the United States, depending on the mitigation efforts enacted by federal, state, and local officials.
“In fact, what we’re seeing is a large majority of the American public are taking the social distancing recommendations to heart. And I think that’s the direct consequence of why you’re seeing the numbers are going to be much, much, much lower than would have been predicted by the models,” Redfield said.
More than 40 states have issued stay-at-home orders in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease.
The optimistic comments come days after some Trump administration officials predicted that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans would die from COVID-19, which is caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, even if federal guidelines were followed. And President Donald Trump said in a briefing last week that he believes that his administration will “have done a very good job” if the U.S. death toll is only 100,000.
Trump and other White House officials, including Surgeon General Jerome Adams, have predicted an especially dire week or two weeks in April as CCP virus cases in the country reach their peak. Adams told news outlets on Sunday that the country’s fight against the virus will “be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.”
But Adams changed his tune in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and echoed Redfield’s statement.
“I feel a lot more optimistic, again, because I’m seeing mitigation work,” he said. “I really do believe that we will come in under those projections as long as we can continue to do our part for 30 days,” he added.
The latest predictions were made after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested in a briefing that the number of hospitalizations in the state begun to flatline, meaning that the peak is near.
“The number of deaths is a lagging indicator to the number of hospitalizations,” Cuomo said, adding that more than 700 people died in the past 24 hours in the state. “That’s why you’re seeing the number of deaths increase, because these are people that came in at the peak.”
New York noted just 358 hospitalizations on April 6 and 128 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions of 128, according to the governor. Hospitals for the sixth straight day discharged more people than they had admitted.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.