Relying on data collected through April 20, I project about 1.3 million cases and 90,000 deaths by the middle of August. Those numbers are 50,000 and 6,000 higher than the projections that I published three days ago. However, the new numbers are based on statistical relationships that, I believe, don’t fully reflect the declining numbers of new cases and deaths discussed below. If the numbers continue to decline rapidly, the estimates of total cases and death should decline, too.
Figure 1 plots total cases and deaths — actual and projected — by date.
Source and notes: Derived from statistics reported by States and the District of Columbia and compiled in Template:2019–20 coronavirus pandemic data/United States medical cases at Wikipedia. The statistics exclude cases and deaths occurring among repatriated persons (i.e., Americans returned from other countries or cruise ships).
But there is good news in the actual and projected numbers of new cases and new deaths (Figure 2).
As shown in Figure 3, the daily percentage changes in new cases and deaths have been declining generally since March 19.
But there is, of course, a lag between new cases and new deaths. The best fit is a 7-day lag (Figure 4).
Figure 5 shows the tight relationship between new cases and new deaths when Figure 3 is adjusted to introduce the 7-day lag.
Figure 6 shows the similarly tight relationship after removing 8 “hot spots” which have the highest incidence of cases per capita — Connecticut, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
Figures 5 and 6 give me added confidence that the crisis has peaked.