Some 60,000 Americans could die in the coronavirus pandemic, a university model often cited by U.S. and state policymakers projected on Wednesday, a 26% reduction in its most recent forecast death toll.
The University of Washington model’s downward revision coincides with relative optimism from political leaders that caseloads may have reached a plateau in certain areas, albeit with the U.S. death toll climbing by 1,800 on Tuesday as nearly 30,000 new infections were reported.
Even that revised forecast suggested months of pain ahead for the nation, which had recorded nearly 13,000 deaths from the new coronavirus as of Tuesday night, according to a Reuters tally of official data.
The pandemic has upended American life, with more than 90% of the population ordered to stay at home and nearly 10 million people thrown out of work in the past two weeks.
There have been about 400,000 confirmed cases nationwide of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, and hospitals have been inundated, resulting in shortages of medical equipment and protective garments. Hospital patients have been left to suffer alone, as loved ones are barred from visiting them.
The White House coronavirus task force has previously projected 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die.