Apr 12, 2020 - Health

Modeler says U.S. would see coronavirus rebound if country re-opened May 1

Christopher Murray, the director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the U.S. would "very clearly have a rebound" in coronavirus cases if social distancing guidelines are eased on May 1.

Why it matters: Murray's influential IHME model, which famously projected 100,000–240,000 U.S. deaths before recently revising downward to 60,000, is one of the forecasts used by the White House. Some of President Trump's aides have been pushing to re-open the country on May 1.

What he's saying:

"The first testing we've done on this is if you opened up the entire country May 1, then we would very clearly have a rebound. We don't think the capability in the states exists yet to deal with that volume of cases. And so by July or August, we could be back in the same situation we are now. I think what Dr. Fauci was talking about this morning is that different states are on different timings. Maybe some states can open up mid-May, but we have to be very careful and make sure that we don't sort of lose all of the effort that the American people have put into closures by premature opening."
— Christopher Murray

Go deeper: We can't just flip the switch on the coronavirus

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

New research suggests coronavirus spread began in U.S. in mid-February

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New research suggests that the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state was likely started by someone who came to the U.S. in mid-February, not by the first confirmed infection in the country, STAT reports.

Why it matters: The research indicates that the U.S. could have been more successful in mitigating community spread of the virus had it acted sooner.

Fauci: Data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus

Anthony Fauci told CNN Wednesday that the scientific data "is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy" of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

Driving the news: The comments came in response to news that France on Wednesday banned the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus, after a large retrospective study in The Lancet found an increased risk of heart problems and death among coronavirus patients who took the anti-malarial drug.