The Truth About Florida’s Predicted Death Toll from COVID & Why DeSantis’ Executive Order May Prolong Our Pain

-Gypsy C. Gallardo for Power Broker Media Group

I’ve seen social media memes and posts that show widespread misunderstanding about the White House announcement this Tuesday that a new data model had predicted the death toll the United States is likely to experience as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Trump administration predicts, that with strict social distancing measures, the death toll from the U.S. outbreak will be somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000.

In the wake of that prediction, it’s being said that Florida is expected to reach its peak death toll in mid-April. This is not accurate. Not according to one of the “go to” predictive models now being used in government and academic briefings.

The model in question is the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

According to it, Florida is likely to see its peak daily death toll on about May 4th.

But it will be sometime down-the-road before Florida peaks in total lives lost to the pandemic. That timeframe is around June 30th. By then, the IHME model predicts that nearly 6,900 people in Florida will die from the infection.

Even more important to understand is that today’s prediction of 6,900 Florida deaths is based on two key factors that are not currently working in our favor.

One, the forecast assumes that Florida will fully implement strict social distancing guidelines by April 8th and two, that our social distancing rules will remain in place through June 1.

Yesterday’s executive order by Governor Ron DeSantis is anything but strict (it still allows group gatherings for church services, for example), and the order is only in effect for 27 days (April 3rd through 30th).

Here’s a graph of the trajectory predicted for Florida (using the April 1st data by IHME, which is updated daily). In light of the new interest around this topic, I will add it to my nightly reports on COVID cases in Florida and Tampa Bay, posted to my Facebook page at around 7 pm each day (@GypsyGallardo).

To share news, views and resources with the Power Broker Media Group, email CEO Gypsy Gallardo. 




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