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'Kind of Like Large Scale Negligent Homicide': As Trump Urges Reopenings, CDC Report Warns of Surge in Covid-19 Deaths

Internal CDC document projects U.S. coronavirus deaths could reach 3,000 per day by June 1—nearly double the current daily death toll.

A patient is transferred from Elmhurst Hospital in New York on April 25, 2020. (Photo: John Lamparski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

As President Donald Trump publicly encourages states to reopen their economies against the advice of public health experts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is privately projecting that U.S. Covid-19 deaths could reach a staggering 3,000 per day by June 1—nearly double the current daily death toll of more than 1,700.

The New York Times on Monday obtained an internal CDC document (pdf) predicting around 200,000 new coronavirus cases each day by the end May, up from around 25,000 new cases per day at present.

"The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways with cases rising so rapidly that the health care system is overloaded," the Times reported.

The CDC projection came to light just hours after Trump claimed during a Fox News town hall that the U.S. has been "successful" in limiting the death toll from the virus. More than 1.1 million people have contracted Covid-19 in the U.S. and nearly 68,000 have died. The virus has killed at least 1,000 people across the nation every day since April 2.

"The administration should be tried for crimes against humanity," Mairav Zonszein wrote in response to the CDC data.

Mother Jones reporter Dan Friedman ripped Trump for publicly urging states to reopen their economies even as his administration predicts a massive surge in coronavirus deaths behind closed doors. Georgia, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and other states have begun to lifting social distancing restrictions in recent days despite their lack of adequate testing equipment.

"Keeping dire internal projections private while publicly pushing states to 'reopen' due to electoral considerations is kind of like large scale negligent homicide," Friedman tweeted.

While a number of states have initiated the reopening of their economies, a new analysis published Monday by the Center for American Progress found that none of the nation's fifty states has reached the crucial kind of thresholds public health experts say would be needed to safely do so.

"Based on evidence-based thresholds for incidence and testing, no state is ready to substantially relax its stay-at-home order," wrote Topher Spiro and Emily Gee, the authors of the analysis.

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