Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, on Wednesday said new projections appear to show that the U.S. death toll from the virus could be lower than past estimates.
Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had been asked about new projections from a model run by the University of Washington that the U.S. could see 60,400 deaths by August — fewer than previously estimated.
“As we’re getting more data and seeing the positive of effect of mitigation, those numbers are going to be downgraded, as you’ve said,” Dr. Fauci said on Fox News. “I don’t know exactly what the numbers are going to be, but right now it looks like it’s going to be less than the original projection.”
Dr. Fauci said the lower projections have to do with social distancing measures.
“Now’s not the time to pull back at all — it’s the time to intensify,” he said.
The White House previously estimated that between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the U.S. could die from the virus.
The White House coronavirus task force has cited the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) when laying out their own projections.