By Andrew Kerr
Seven states have seen their peak hospital resource use come and go by the end of Wednesday, April 8, according to a leading coronavirus projection model that has informed the White House’s response to the pandemic.
New York, Michigan and Louisiana, which have seen some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the United States, are among the states projected to reach peak hospital resource usage by the end of Wednesday, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model. Vermont, Washington, Colorado and Ohio are also projected to reach their peak hospital resource use by the end of the day, the model shows.
The IHME has drastically reduced its projections in recent days on the hospital resources needed to combat coronavirus at its peak spread in the United States. The Washington-based institute updated its model on Wednesday showing that it projects that 94,249 hospital beds will be needed nationwide at the virus’s peak, a 64% reduction from the model’s April 1 projection that 262,092 hospital beds would be needed.
The IHME has also reduced its projected number of nationwide COVID-19 deaths by the beginning of August to 60,415, a 35% decrease from the 93,531 nationwide deaths its model had projected on April 1.
The IHME expects New York, which has seen the worst coronavirus outbreak in the country with 140,000 confirmed cases as of Wednesday morning, to hit peak hospital resource use on Wednesday. New York’s peak daily deaths are expected to arrive on Thursday with a projected 780 fatalities, the institute’s model shows.
Michigan, which has seen the third-most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, reached peak hospital resource usage on Tuesday and will reach peak daily fatalities on Thursday, according to the IHME model.
And the model expects that Louisiana, which has the fifth-most confirmed cases in the country, will hit its peak hospital resource usage on Saturday after hitting its peak daily fatalities on Tuesday.
Delaware and Washington, D.C., are expected to reach peak hospital resource usage on Thursday, the IHME model shows.
The IHME model projects that 25 states and Washington, D.C., will have seen their peak hospital resource usage come and go by next Friday.
The director of the IHME, Dr. Christopher Murray, told reporters on Monday that the recent reductions in the IHME’s model are largely driven by encouraging figures from Italy and Spain showing that peak daily coronavirus deaths arrived sooner than previously predicted, which suggests that social distancing policies have had an impact on containing the spread of the virus.
However, Murray said the promising numbers should not be seen as an excuse to ease up on social distancing measures.
“If you ease up prematurely, the epidemic can rebound right back to the level we’re at right now in a matter of weeks,” Murray said. “The potential for a rebound is enormous if we let up on social distancing.”
Murray said the debate on when to ease up on stay-at-home orders shouldn’t begin until “after June.”
Overwhelming majority of Americans hold Chinese government responsible for coronavirus
A bipartisan consensus has emerged among Americans of all political stripes regarding the Chinese government’s culpability for the spread of coronavirus.
Some 90% of Republicans, 67% of Democrats and 75% of independents believe the Chinese government is responsible for the spread of the virus, according to a Harris tracking poll of 1,993 American adults surveyed between April 3 and April 5.
“It’s as much of a consensus issue as you can get in today’s divided world,” Harris Poll chairman Mark Penn told The Washington Post.
“Overall, there’s very little trust for anything that the Chinese government says or does, especially its premier. Xi Jinping has less than half the credibility of President Trump in this poll.”
The poll shows that Americans are still split on President Donald Trump’s characterization of the outbreak as the “Chinese Virus,” however.
While 81% of surveyed Republicans agree with the president’s characterization, some 70% of Democrats and 54% of independents disagree with Trump’s portrayal.
An estimated 430,000 people from China were able to travel to the United States after Chinese officials disclosed the existence of the deadly virus in January.
Some virologists have questioned whether the virus could have been unleashed due to a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was studying bat-based SARS-like viruses prior to the outbreak in the city.
Richard H. Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he believes there’s a real possibility that the virus could have entered the human population due to an accident from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Ebright said the possibility of a lab accident “cannot-and should not-be dismissed.”
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