Day 1,201: As Trump pushes nation to reopen, FEMA projects daily death counts to hit 3,000 and infection rates to octuple by June

2 min readMay 5, 2020

With the coronavirus still raging throughout the U.S., Donald Trump is pushing hard for states to reopen now. Using a bully pulpit, he is trying to pressure governors to ease restrictions while fomenting dangerous protests to that end.

At the same time, according to a New York Times report, Trump’s own administration is predicting a massive surge of coronavirus cases in less than a month: 3,000 dead and 200,000 new infections per day.

The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: The United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks to try slowing the spread of the virus, but reopening the economy will make matters worse.

“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.

Even more worryingly, FEMA’s model has routinely underpredicted the amount of deaths for months. If that keeps up into June and beyond, the number of fatalities could soar beyond their numbers.

Based on FEMA’s projected rate, the U.S. would be losing roughly the same number of people who die every day from heart disease and cancer combined. It’s also the same number of Americans who died on 9/11.

Trump has admitted that the expected death tolls continue to rise but is still pushing for actions that will only make things worse. Nearly 70,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., in no small part due to a disastrous response from Trump and the federal government. Ready to compound those mistakes by trying to reopening the country too soon, tens of thousands more Americans will die.

1,201 days in, 261 to go

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