Researchers behind a model that has been cited by the White House nearly doubled their estimated death toll on Monday to 134,475 fatalities through August. Health officials in the U.S. currently report more than 68,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The new estimated range is 95,092 to 242,890 deaths.
The model’s previous estimate, last updated on April 29, predicted 72,433 deaths from the virus in the U.S.’s first wave. The estimated range at the time was 59,343 to 114,228.
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Michigan are projected to have the five highest increases in death tolls through August, according to the model.
“While these states have generally been among those with the highest predicted tolls from COVID-19, each of their cumulative death projections have increased by at least 2,000,” the update stated. “This is due in part to updates to death data and modeling approaches, with the latter now estimating longer epidemic peaks and slower downward trajectories following those peaks in many locations.”
Meanwhile, several Trump administration departments forecast the daily U.S. death toll will reach 3,000 on June 1, according to The New York Times.
The internal, interagency document predicts about 200,000 new cases per day by the end of May.
But the administration distanced itself from the document, saying it isn’t something the White House coronavirus task force has looked over.
“This is not a White House document, nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. “This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force, or data that the task force has analyzed.”
President Donald Trump increased his own prediction over the weekend, saying “we’re going to lose anywhere from 75,000, 80,000 to 100,000 people. That’s a horrible thing.”