Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey report for Reuters:
Two senior U.S. health officials have said they now believe the coronavirus outbreak may kill fewer Americans than some recent projections, pointing to tentative signs that the death toll was starting to level off in New York and other hot spots.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Tuesday said he concurred with the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that some research models have projected death totals that may prove too high, though neither would offer an alternate estimate.
The White House coronavirus task force projected a death toll of 100,000 to 240,000 a week ago, saying containing deaths to that range was possible if strict social distances measures were respected, implying it could go even higher.
Adams on Tuesday told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he was encouraged by recent data showing a possible “flattening” of the outbreak in some areas, referring to the shape of the curve when deaths are shown on a graph.
Asked if he believed the death toll would come in below the dire White House task force projection, Adams said, “That’s absolutely my expectation.”
“I feel a lot more optimistic, again, because I’m seeing mitigation work,” he said, adding that he agreed with CDC director Robert Redfield that deaths could fall short of totals that some computer models showed.