Something important is happening as the coronavirus crisis continues: Estimates of its lethality keep going down. On March 31, the White House estimated that, even with social distancing policies in place, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans would die of covid-19. Anthony S. Fauci recently indicated the government’s estimates will soon be revised downward.
The University of Washington model — which has been cited by the White House — predicted on March 26 that, assuming social distancing stays in place until June 1, U.S. deaths over the next four months would most likely be about 81,000. By April 8, it had made more than five revisions, to get to the current number: 60,415. That’s on par with the number of people estimated to have died of the flu in the 2019-2020 season.