Christopher Murray, director of University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that his coronavirus model projects that more than 137,000 people in the United States may die from the virus by August.

Why it matters: Murray's influential IHME model, which is one of the forecasts used by the White House, has been criticized for frequently revising its projections. Murray said his team is tracking cellphone data and has seen "explosive increases in mobility in a number of states" that will likely translate into more cases and deaths in 10 days.

What he's saying: "We're seeing, in some states, a 20 percentage point increase in just 1o days in mobility, and that will translate into more human contact, more transmission," Murray said.

  • Murray explained that the rise in mobility is likely a result of states relaxing lockdown measures and of people simply growing tired of staying indoors.
  • "The places that are taking off the social distancing mandates, the bump in mobility appears to be larger," he said. "So somewhere like Georgia, which was one of the first, we're seeing is in that category of a pretty big increase."

The big picture: More than half the states in the U.S. have begun lifting some coronavirus restrictions or outlined plans to do so, despite few, if any, meeting the White House's criteria for reopening economies. This has prompted concerns among many health experts that there could be another surge in cases.

Go deeper: Where the virus is spreading fastest

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Aug 18, 2020 - Health

Birx: "I wish that when we went into lockdown, we looked like Italy"

Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, speaks after a June briefing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters Monday she would have liked to have seen the U.S. introduce stricter restrictions like Italy did to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What she's saying: "I wish that when we went into lockdown, we looked like Italy," she said. "When Italy locked down, I mean, people weren't allowed out of their houses, they couldn't come out but once every two weeks to buy groceries for one hour and they had to have a certificate that said they were allowed. Americans don't react well to that kind of prohibition."

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 18, 2020 - World

New Zealand PM: Trump "patently wrong" about NZ coronavirus cases

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a press conference at the parliament building the Beehive in the capital, Wellington on Monday. Photo: Guo Lei/Xinhua via Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday rejected President Trump's comments on New Zealand's growing number of coronavirus cases since COVID-19 was detected in the community for the first time in 102 days last week.

Driving the news: Trump said Monday when New Zealand "beat" the virus, "it was like front page, they beat it because they wanted to show me something." "The problem is big surge in New Zealand. It's terrible. We don't want that." But Ardern said there's "no comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases being seen in the United States."