Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

As Trump Pushes U.S. to Reopen, Internal Document Projects 3,000 Coronavirus Deaths a Day by June

As Trump Pushes U.S. to Reopen, Internal Document Projects 3,000 Coronavirus Deaths a Day by June
A funeral home worker in Queens, New York inventories pre-sold caskets on April 29, 2020. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

As President Donald Trump pushes for the U.S. economy to reopen, an internal administration document obtained by The New York Times and reported Monday shows federal agencies are projecting around 3,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths a day by June 1, almost doubling the current tally.

Also on Monday, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model, which is often cited by the White House, raised its death toll projection from around 60,000 to more than 134,000 by early August. The uptick was based largely on increased movement in U.S. states and the easing of social distancing measures planned in 31 states by May 11, the institute said in a statement.

"We're seeing an increase in mobility that's leading to an increase in mortality, unfortunately, in the United States," IHME Health Metrics Sciences professor Ali Mokdad told CNN.

Meanwhile, Trump is hoping for an economic recovery in time for the November election, and spoke in favor of easing restrictions Sunday, as The Guardian reported.

"I really believe that you can go to parks, you can go to beaches … [if] you stay away a certain amount," Trump said during a Fox News town hall.

However, the document obtained by The New York Times, which was put together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) based on modeling by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that the daily tally of U.S. cases would rise from around 30,000 now to 200,000 a day by the end of May.

The White House quickly moved to distance itself from the document.

"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 reported by NPR. "This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed. The president's phased guidelines to open up America again are a scientific driven approach that the top health and infectious disease experts in the federal government agreed with. The health of the American people remains President Trump's top priority and that will continue as we monitor the efforts by states to ease restrictions," Deere continued.

The White House has issued guidelines for states as they reopen, according to The New York Times. They are supposed to meet certain criteria, such as a decrease in cases or in people testing positive over 14 days. However, of the 27 states that had begun to ease social distancing requirements as of Monday, seven of them did not meet that criteria.

"It is true that there are parts of the country that are doing better and can begin to look at ways to ease the requirements, but there are large swaths of the country that are not, and the growth that is projected is based mostly on these other parts of the country," Kaiser Family Foundation director of global health and HIV policy Jennifer Kates told The New York Times.

The novel coronavirus has so far sickened at least 1,180,634 people in the U.S. and killed at least 68,934, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of Tuesday morning. That is already more than Trump's earlier prediction of 65,000 total U.S. deaths.

On Sunday, Trump said 80,000 to 90,000 Americans could die, CNN reported, while White House coronavirus task force official Dr. Deborah Birx said projections show a national death toll of 100,000 to 240,000 even if social distancing measures are enforced.

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less


In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch