US coronavirus cases top 400,000, with more than 12,900 deaths. But future projections are better than expected

Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, explains the drop in predicted deaths in their coronavirus model.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 3:01 PM
Updated: Apr 8, 2020 3:01 PM

The US war against coronavirus has taken devastating turns this week. But with more people taking social distancing seriously, researchers predict the coming months won't be as dire as initially feared.

More than 400,000 people in the US have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 12,900 have died.

A record 1,858 deaths were reported in just one day Tuesday. And researchers say the peak has yet to come.

The US will reach its highest daily number of deaths on or around Sunday, according to modeling by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The projections also suggest the US will reach its peak use of resources -- such as hospital beds and ventilators -- on or around Saturday.

But there's a bit of good news: The modeling shows fewer people will die from coronavirus than previously expected.

On Tuesday, the IHME estimated about 82,000 people will die from coronavirus disease by August. On Wednesday, that estimate was lowered to 60,415.

Still, that's little consolation to the countless families grieving for loved ones who often die alone in hospitals.

And the actual number of deaths could be higher than we know.

Some deaths due to Covid-19 "may be misclassified as pneumonia deaths in the absence of positive test results," the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The virus is disproportionately affecting minority groups, and tracking that data is important to warn those most at risk, said American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris.

Blood plasma treatment and vaccine trials move forward

Vaccines typically take years before they're publicly available. But officials are racing to develop one for Covid-19 as quickly as possible.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it might be possible to have a coronavirus vaccine in 12 to 18 months, but some experts say that timeline is risky.

One vaccine trial administered its first dose last month, and now another vaccine trial has started.

Biotechnology company Inovio started a Phase 1 clinical trial this week and estimates that will be finished late this summer, a spokesperson for Inovio told CNN.

"We anticipate rapid enrollment of this initial study," said Dr. Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the study's principal investigator.

"There has been tremendous interest in this vaccine among people who want to do what they can do to help protect the greater public from this pandemic as soon as possible."

In the meantime, the US Food and Drug Administration expedited the use of blood plasma treatment for seriously ill patients last month.

This week, Jason Garcia -- a man who recovered from coronavirus -- was told his plasma donation has been distributed so the antibodies he developed can help another patient do the same.

Garcia said doctors told him a patient had since improved.

Millions of Americans are suddenly unemployed

More than 6.6 million US workers have filed for their first week of unemployment benefits as coronavirus cripples the economy.

In New York, the state with the most cases and deaths, officials estimate a loss of $10 billion to $15 billion in revenue.

"New York State is broke," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. "I urge you to keep fighting for New York State to ensure we have the resources we need to continue to lead the fight against Covid-19 and provide the services New Yorkers rely upon."

Tennessee has seen a "record spike" in unemployment claims of more than 250,000 in the last three weeks, Gov. Bill Lee said.

In Oklahoma, about 135,000 residents filed for unemployment, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said.

In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said an additional $600 would be distributed to those who lost their jobs.

When can students go back to school?

Several states have closed schools for the rest of this academic year. Now many parents are wondering whether they students can go back to class in the fall.

Fauci said it's still too early to know, but he's optimistic the country will be in better shape by the next school year.

"I fully expect, though I'm humble enough to know that I can't accurately predict, that by the time we get to the fall that we will have this under control enough," he said.

But the reopening of schools will likely depend on how soon coronavirus cases start to dwindle and how well the US can identify those with the disease or who have recovered from the disease, including those who were asymptomatic.

Knowing who is protected and who is vulnerable will help communities make decisions about using classrooms again.

"My optimistic side tells me that we'll be able to renew to a certain extent, but it's going to be different," Fauci said. "Remember now, because this (disease) is not going to disappear."

Your coronavirus questions, answered

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
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Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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