British Study Forecasting 2 Million U.S. Deaths This Year Prompted Trump to Ramp Up Coronavirus Precautions

A study by Imperial College scientists in Britain forecasting 2.2 million deaths in the United States this year from the COVID-19 Wuhan coronavirus prompted President Trump to dramatically ramp up precautions and warnings the past few days. Even if the recommendations in the report are adhered to, the study finds that one million in the U.S. could still die and hospitals would be overwhelmed. The study also focused on the United Kingdom, forecasting the virus would kill 550,000 British if not adequately addressed. The death rate is forecast to peak during spring and early summer at varying levels depending on the success of mitigation efforts.

Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team graphs.

There is a reason dear Gateway Pundit readers–from this writer’s perspective (I have been reporting on the virus since January)– why this virus is being taken so seriously by infectious disease experts and governments around the world. It is because this is a new dangerous, deadly virus that has shown an ability to inflict mass death and suffering in a short period of time that cripples the abilities of hospitals to care for all patients if not contained. There is no cure, there is no vaccine and there are only a few experimental treatments. This is not being exaggerated or hyped. Wuhan, Qom and Lombardy are real world examples in real time of what happens when the spread of the virus is not mitigated in time.

The change in President Trump’s demeanor the past few days shows he has been briefed on the study. For all his efforts to be positive about the fight against the virus that have turned out to be overly optimistic, Trump is also a realist and has been acting since January to prepare the nation for this potential worst case scenario. Trump’s actions have bought the U.S. valuable time and has put us on a better footing than Europe.

A somber President Trump and coronavirus task force members briefed the press last Saturday, March 14, screen image.

The New York Times reported Monday night about the study and its impact on the Trump administration’s handling of the virus outbreak:

Sweeping new federal recommendations announced on Monday for Americans to sharply limit their activities appeared to draw on a dire scientific report warning that, without action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of coronavirus and suppress new cases, 2.2 million people in the United States could die.

To curb the epidemic, there would need to be drastic restrictions on work, school and social gatherings for periods of time until a vaccine was available, which could take 18 months, according to the report, compiled by British researchers. They cautioned that such steps carried enormous costs that could also affect people’s health, but concluded they were “the only viable strategy at the current time.”

That is because different steps, intended to drive down transmission by isolating patients, quarantining those in contact with them and keeping the most vulnerable apart from others for three months, could only cut the predicted death toll by half, the new report said.

…Asked at a news conference with President Trump about what had led to the change in thinking by a White House task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the task force leaders, said new information had come from a model developed in Britain.

“What had the biggest impact in the model is social distancing, small groups, not going in public in large groups,” Dr. Birx said. “The most important thing was if one person in the household became infected, the whole household self-quarantined for 14 days. Because that stops 100 percent of the transmission outside of the household.”

Dr. Birx’s description of the findings was consistent with those in the report, released on Monday by an epidemic modeling group at Imperial College London. The lead author of the study, Neil Ferguson, an epidemiology professor, said in an interview that his group had shared their projections with the White House task force about a week ago and that an early copy of the report was sent over the weekend…

…Dr. Ferguson said the potential health impacts were comparable to the devastating 1918 influenza outbreak, and would “kind of overwhelm health system capacity in any developed country, including the United States,” unless measures to reduce the spread of the virus were taken…

End excerpt, please read the complete New York Times report at this link.

The 20 page Imperial College report in PDF format can be read at this link.

UPDATE: A video by Mel Brooks and his son Max Brooks on protecting the elderly and other vulnerable people.

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Kristinn Taylor has contributed to The Gateway Pundit for over ten years. Mr. Taylor previously wrote for Breitbart, worked for Judicial Watch and was co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com. He studied journalism in high school, visited the Newseum and once met David Brinkley.

You can email Kristinn Taylor here, and read more of Kristinn Taylor's articles here.

 

Thanks for sharing!