The number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in the U.S. will continue to rise sharply if states rush to reopen, according to scientific models reported by CNN. Seven coronavirus models reportedly show deaths will continue to rise in the coming weeks—but how sharply the death toll increases depends on how much “contact reduction” people practice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Models that factor in a lot of reduction see new deaths “slow substantially over the next four weeks,” according to the CDC. “Conversely, models that do not incorporate as strong contact reductions... suggest that total deaths may continue to rise quickly.” The widely watched projection by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation raised its U.S. death toll estimate late Monday by 6,000 to 74,073, noting that several states have extended the epidemic’s peak. The Daily Beast first reported on one model prepared by epidemiologists and computer scientists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which showed Gov. Brian Kemp’s rush to lift Georgia out of COVID-19 lockdown could cost thousands of additional lives.
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