WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New U.S. government figures show coronavirus infections will spike during the summer if stay-at-home orders are lifted after 30 days as planned, the New York Times reported on Friday.
If President Donald Trump lifts shelter-in-place orders after 30 days, the death total is estimated to reach 200,000, the New York Times reported, citing new projections it obtained from the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services.
Trump said he and his advisers have not seen the new coronavirus projections reported by the Times.
He gave a much different projection during the daily White House coronavirus briefing, saying the thinks the United States will lose fewer than the 100,000 lives initially projected to be lost to the coronavirus, and suggested the country is nearing its peak infection rate.
U.S. deaths due to the virus topped 18,100 on Friday, according to a Reuters tally.
The April 9 projections did not have dates for when shelter in place orders were delivered or dates for when spikes would hit, the newspaper said.
The projections outline different scenarios. Without any restrictions imposed to contain coronavirus – including school closings, shelter-in-place orders and social distancing, the death toll from coronavirus could have reached 300,000, it said.
But if the 30-day stay-at-home order is lifted, the death total is estimated to reach 200,000, the Times said, “even if schools remain closed until summer, 25 percent of the country continues to work from home and some social distancing continues.”
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler