- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2020

An institute’s coronavirus projections, which President Trump is greatly relying upon to set COVID-19 policy, said the U.S. would need 135,000 hospital beds by today — yet only about 31,000 patients are hospitalized.

The federal government does not seem to have a handle on how many COVID-19-infected people are hospitalized.

The Washington Times asked the Department of Health and Human Services for the in-patient number. A spokesperson said HHS did not have that data and referred a reporter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA is spearheading the delivery of life-saving medical equipment to health providers.

The FEMA news desk responded to The Times, “Recommend you reach out to HHS for your inquiry as FEMA does not count or determine hospitalizations.”

The Times found one non-government source, a web site called The COVID Tracking Project. It surveys state governments and says 31,000 people are hospitalized today, April 2.

That figure appears accurate as the coronavirus epicenter, New York City, had over 7,000 hospitalized at the end of March.

The 31,000 number throws some doubt on virus projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations at Washington State University.

Mr. Trump’s coronavirus advisers have put much stock in its projections of at least 100,000 dead. The president decided to extend restricted travel and business activity through April based on its death modeling.

The institute projected that 135,000 hospital beds would be needed on this date, April. 2, four times the current hospital population for COVID-19 patients.

Sean Davis of the Federalist pointed out the discrepancy today on Twitter.

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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