Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Projections based on C.D.C. scenarios show a potentially vast toll. But those numbers don’t account for interventions now underway.

Comments: 196

  1. No, as one commenter said, this is not a "zombie" plague movie. But, this is REAL LIFE, and the "plague" is coming not from zombies but from otherwise healthy people unknowingly or deliberately spreading this virus.

  2. So, basically: 1. Sometime no less than 2 weeks ago (more likely a lot longer than that if the figures were valid through Feb 28), the CDC released 4 potential impact models of the coronavirus. 2. The worst case scenario numbers are predicated on no action being taken to slow the transmission of the virus. 3. The NYT ignores the 3 other models the CDC presented and prints only the worst case scenario numbers of an unchecked infection rampage even though the unchecked infection did. Not. Happen. Responsible reporting at its finest. No wonder I can’t buy a single bottle of disinfectant while there are people whose individual hoards of it could supply small nations.

  3. From the NYT's own coverage: Sick People Across the U.S. Say They Are Being Denied the Coronavirus Test By Farah Stockman Updated March 13, 2020 This is criminal. I don't know how else to put it. The Trump administration's handling of this crisis, ALREADY PREDICTED IN JANUARY, has been criminal. China gave us 6 weeks -- 6 full weeks -- of lead time, and we've squandered it. Richest, most powerful country in the world, and we're so far behind everyone else on this. Meanwhile, over at Fox, the robotic sycophants continue to drone on. The only movement they've made has been from "it's all a hoax" to "it's just like a bad cold" to "it's terrible and it's all China's fault." Give them time; I'm sure they'll blame it on Hillary's emails before long.

  4. The LA Times is reporting that Trump is refusing to let states use Medicaid to pay for coronavirus response. Talk about short sighted and vindictive.

  5. Trump Virus: The additional cases caused by our self-serving president and his enablers.

  6. In view of the ignorance and ineptitude of the Trump administration about scientific facts, there is no need to be an expert to predict that our Corona virus cases might soon exceed that of China in the coming days.

  7. Thank you NY Times for finally giving us the figures....High Rise city dwellers: --knock on your floor neighbors doors and see if they are alright/running a fever --If they have flu symptoms have them measure their temperature and stay home don't fluid the hospital --bring them some tamale, Tylenol, and a pack of gator aid --check on them every 6 hours or so and make sure they are getting better, if not call in to an on call internet doctor/nurse practitioner and get their advise This is the USA....we take care of the world, why not our own. Mexico only has 12 confirmed cases....check out the map

  8. Trump’s lie: "Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth! We've done a good job on testing!" Dr. Fauci’s truth: “The idea of anybody getting [the test] easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we are not set up for that! Do I think we should be? Yes! But we are not!”

  9. To the naysayers and those that refuse to follow actual Expert Advice : it’s not about YOU. It’s about protecting the vulnerable. Grow up, or go live on your own Island. Seriously.

  10. "nobody in Mr. Pence’s office “has seen or been briefed on these models.”" What?!! Is this continuing willful ignorance at the Federal level? Are the CDC officials afraid to present these models to the White House? Is Pence not interested in the science? Unbelievable!

  11. We in the US should now accept that test kits cannot catch up with the spread any time soon. Why can’t we supplement them with clinical diagnosis based on a combination of symptoms, medical/travel history, and CT scans, which Hubei, China had to do at the worst of their outbreak? They used that to confirm more than 10,000 patients overnight, most of whom were later tested positive once supplies caught up.

  12. These do sound like worse case scenarios and it does not have to be that bad. I n Hubei Province, worst hit by the virus and with roughly 58 million people there have been 67,000 confirmed cases, which translates to a little more than 1100 case per million of population (only 56 per million for all of China). The epidemic appears to be winding down there (only 22 new cases in the past day in all of China). Certainly an effective response can limit the impact. Italy already has 250 cases per million of population but the number is increasing rapidly. It will be interesting how things progress there. But a big question remains: can our system handle this epidemic as well as China has? It is not encouraging so far.

  13. I work at a hotel, and just a few days ago I had guests complaining loudly at the bar about sports events being cancelled. The bartender said she would go to work every day no matter what. Two guests outright told me it was a hoax. Several people said (I kid you not) that the rate of deaths from car accidents was higher than COVID-19, and therefore we should be banning cars instead of calling off events and shuttering schools. By the time I got home I was so infuriated I was shaking. As someone with family who is at risk, this nonchalance is terrifying. I myself had been sanitizing and distancing so much that my hands are cracking, they are so dry, but this is a community effort that should be treated as such, and some people are not doing that. And I live in a very liberal community!

  14. This rogue Trump nation's Center for Disease Control can no longer be trusted with factual information? How low can you go?

  15. And then there's the guy who was apparently symptomatic, took the time to test, and then before he knew the results of the test he got on a plane with a few hundred people to fly to Miami. Midway through the flight he gets a call that he is positive. Ignorant people will be our undoing. You can cancel all the college classes you want and close elementary schools but as long as there are stupid people in this country the disease will spread.

  16. Never has there been a shortage of foolish, cavalier individuals, who place self-interest above the common good. The time in which we live resoundingly illustrates the point. Thinking otherwise, in the US, at the moment is dillusional. Being led by an elected—world class—narcissist speaks volumes about the country.

  17. Trump said:“Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth.” Later, when asked about people returning to the United States from abroad, he very falsely claimed that everyone is tested upon arrival." My sister arrived yesterday on a flight from Germany and did NOT even have her temperature taken! LIES LIES LIES. Get rid of the LIAR. His incompetence will aid in the deaths.

  18. The comments from the Trump supporters here are frightening. If the vast majority of us don't do what we must, we will see millions of needless deaths. That is, we won't be able to minimize the damage unless most of us do our own little part of doing the right thing. Time and again these scoffing Trump supporters here are making the same claims. "Trump is right. It isn't serious. There have only been 40 deaths. It's a hoax. He is right to worry only about the economics." This unfit ill-intentioned president and his credulous culty base might very will be directly responsible for millions of deaths here--unless the base wakes up and the president recuses himself from the entire response process. It could very well be too late. As Nicholas Kristof writes here today: "At this point we may already have tens of thousands of infections in the United States — no one knows, because testing has been catastrophically bungled ... We have already squandered weeks in which the president scoffed at the coronavirus ..."

  19. China is rebounding. People back at work, factories open, and emergency hospitals closed. Look at their stats, ours probably won’t be far off. The over reaction is going to cause more damage and possible death than if everyone would just be responsible. Chill out.

  20. @JOSEPH They are rebounding because they reacted to the virus and took steps to keep people from spreading it. The measures they took to control it were more extreme than the ones you're now dismissing as "overreaction." What makes you think we can get their outcome without putting in the same effort?

  21. @JOSEPH But they won't be responsible and we aren't going to have forced quarantines like Chian did.

  22. I’d suggest, folks, that before you attack Trump et al yet again—you too have only so much time to get ready for this. I’m not talking about running out and buying toilet paper. I’m talking about getting your stuff set up so you can cope, changing your habits, making rational preparations. Recriminate later; Pasteur knows Trump et al deserve it, and throwing his tail out of office would only be a good start. But right now, read the CDC advice. Read the advice published here. Start practicing for in case. Do it now.

  23. The more information emanating from local and state governments the more action taken at the local Level in the absence of Federal leadership means one thing: The more visible it is that the Emperor Trump, has no clothes The failure of leadership is clear to see Vote accordingly Nov 3

  24. Apparently the mathematicians have left the CDC. If the death rate is, conservatively, 1% and 160-214 million people get the disease, then 1.6-2.14 million people will die. As of March 6, the worldwide death rate was about 3%. Moreover, if (again very conservatively) 8% of patients require hospitalization and hospital beds and respirators are not available, many more--who otherwise could have been saved--will die. This may, in fact, be the greater risk. Maybe with better care, and as we learn more about the disease, that can be brought down, but we don't know that yet. The death rate will, undoubtedly, be reduced by the availability of testing. And that's why our government's intransigence is, frankly, criminal. People will die because people have not been tested.

  25. well were does that put me, I am 2 months form 89 years with COPD and chronic bronchitis. If NY Times comment writer cease to see my name,well it has been a great life so far. My son wants me to stay home but I just hate to. i still drive and my wife has doctors appointments, (married over 65 years) Love you comment people my main reason to subscribe to the Times.

  26. Seems like the horse left the barn long before the door was shut, at least in the U.S. Not smart, but it's too late now. All we can do is cocoon, hunker down, and ride it out. HEY Jeff Bezos, how 'bout offering Americans FREE Amazon Prime for a year until this crisis passes so we can stay out of stores, have products delivered, and be safe? Just a thought.

  27. Question: I wonder how they estimated the possible number of deaths (“between 200,000 and 1.7 million people”). This would represent a ridiculously low mortality rate assuming that “between 160 and 240 millions people” would be infected. If we take the lowest mortality rate so far (0,89%), which is in South Korea, a country conducting very aggressive testing, it would mean that between 1.42 million and 2.13 millions people could die in the US. By an average mortality rate of 2% like in France, then between 3.2 and 4.8 millions people could die. I’ll let you do further calculation with the mortality rates of Northern Italy where the health system is collapsing...

  28. What does Pence do all day, then? "Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the task force, said that senior health officials had not presented the findings to the group, led by Vice President Pence, and that nobody in Mr. Pence’s office 'has seen or been briefed on these models.' "

  29. The coronavirus is the only thing people seem to be talking about. This is all the media is talking about too. Yesterday as I was walking along the street in Manhattan I overheard people discussing the coronavirus. People were buying out the supermarket shelves and wanted to be prepared for this pandemic. They do not know what tomorrow brings and want to be prepared. People are justifiably concerned because of the speed of its spread. We know so little about the virus and the unknown can be very frightening. We must try to relax but at times like this it is easier said than done. Panicking will not help the situation. These are difficult times and we must be alert, take the proper hygienic precautions and use common sense.

  30. The only people I see panicking are Trump and Trumpists, who veer between near-catatonia and shrieking attacks. Sorry, but when I see Hannity and Rush and Trump and all the rest, what I see is hysterical blindness. Leadership, it ain’t. And one sign of panic is to cling to ideas and hatreds and ignorances and the incompetent and a pack of lies and slogans when you meet up with a threat.

  31. @RSSF Very smart thinking. We need your brainpower in the White House. I’d recommend two additional Federal actions to be acted up immediately: — purchasing thousands of pulmonary ventilators that be deployed with deliberate speed sooner vs. later. — ensure we have the capability to build temporary hospital structures and staffing just as China did That these actions are not already underway speaks volumes.

  32. Projections based on CDC worst case estimates of Corona fatalities are too late and too unreliable. Currently there is a lot of uncertainties and all plans for travel and gatherings are up in the air. I just provided solicited advise to a group trying to hold an International Poxvirus meeting in Philly, PA to consider placing on hold making arrangements or postponement or cancellation for the meeting in July, 2020 for 30 days. Why did I advice to place on hold making arrangements for 30 days? I was selected to give a presentation to a group investors in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, CA and the organizers postponed the summit West to May first week. Fair enough? I had already made my booking with American Airlines and I am having a hard time connecting to cancel without a penalty. I have decided to place on hold any new booking because if the Summit gets postponed further, I will have even more difficulty cancelling. So I am sitting tight waiting for clarity. All other opportunities to travel to meetings, I am already saying no thank you. Love to visit Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Singapore again but because of the panic pandemic uncertainty at the current time, I am unable to make any commitments at this time. These projections are worst-case estimates and for sure these numbers don't account for individual and government interventions now underway. As an individual I am confident that my interventions will keep my family, my friends, my colleagues and my community safe.

  33. Those international meetings happen biannually, through such orgs as the University of Pennsylvania. And I’d have thought that Important People would know that this article discusses three or four possible scenarios, and emphasizes that the outcomes depend on our actions.

  34. @Robert from out west. The Poxvirus meeting in 2020 is the first time such a meeting would be occurring in Philly. Yes Poxvirus meetings occur once in 2 years and alternate between North America and Europe. The article is hardly a basis for making decisions based on projections no matter how many scenarios. The major concern right now for the organizers is financial more than logistics. Why should anyone do booking of flights and accomodation, right now for a meeting in July, knowing the cancellations and postponement could come with penalties.

  35. NO, they happen biannually. The Philly conference is set for June, not July; the next is in December. Of this year. Not in Europe, but in Bangkok. I looked it up, okay? So you got the timing wrong, the month wrong, and the CONTINENT wrong. And it sure looks like you are again trying to downplay the problems, by pretending that an international conference on virii and epidemics is going to look at the money first. Please stop this. It is, in its small way, harmful.

  36. Let’s see, given there are only about 209 million people over the age of 18 in the US, the upper limits of this projection would mean that every adult would be infected. It only takes the application of a small amount of logic to understand why this is impossible. And since what we know so far is that children, for whatever reason, appear to not be impacted by this virus, it makes these projections even more implausible. Something to think about.

  37. How do you triage a looming implosion like this one? Our nurses and doctors are not bionic and cannot make up for lost time and incompetence. Sure we are scrambling and we will somehow survive but the reality of what we are facing has not fully sunk in yet. Even Disney is closing Disneyland. Let's face it we are living in a fantasy land in real-time. The former FDA commissioner just a "couple of days" ago - stated, "We are 10 days from our Hospitals getting creamed". We do not have tests on the scale we need today and most are taking "days" to get results. What more do we need to know? There is no way to catch up. Our stats will be higher than Italy. We don't seem to get the "concept of time" to take action. Are we so checked out in magical thinking that we are paralyzed? I can't believe it. Maybe in some weird way, this jarring, wake up call of a pandemic ----and economic fallout, will also serve to mobilize the world toward "real actions" regarding our looming climate changes and the "time we have left" to address it . Scientists agree we have a 10-year action window. How can we accept our fragile world before Disneyland reopens and we just get back on the rides and forget about it the reality of everything? Like the song on my favorite ride- it's a small world after all.

  38. There are two contemporary and intertwined pandemics caused by the coronavirus and brainvirus. The first one attacks the lungs and results in high fever. The latter attacks the heads and makes the people come up with the wrong conclusions. If our health care system was completely unprepared to confront the coronavirus pandemics and conduct enough testing, you don’t blame the White House incumbent for the structural deficiencies but the entire health care system and its unpreparedness. If that were the case, we don’t have the superb health care but the inferior one in comparison to the other countries. If our health care system is failing us, then we have to blame the lifelong politicians for it - like Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnel and Joe Biden… We should promote the leaders who advised us about the imperfections of the current system. Who was the only one to do that? Bernie Sanders…

  39. Oh, for crying...out...loud. You know, you’re doing the politicking equivalent of price-gouging on Purell. I’d point out to you...oh, never mind. Go look up Joe Biden’s actual record on this stuff. His ACTUAL record, mind you. And no, no, no, M4A is NOT the only way of providing universal coverage in an affordable system. Obamacare would do precisely that, if the types from Trump to Berniacs who’ve been hopping up and down and screaming would let it. And now is NOT the time for the big post-mortem, or for selling woulda coulda shoulda for a guy who is not...going...to win...the primary.

  40. @Kenan Porobic So "You don't blame the White House incumbent" for unpreparedness, and you hold up Bernie as our savior. That just confirms my suspicion once again that you guys, for Trump and for Bernie, are peas from the same pod. Keep trying to sell that notion that Democrats are behind the coronavirus crisis and you will further damage your own credibility and the appeal of your candidate. People can't help thinking, if these people are for Bernie and they seem to be deranged, what kind of man is Bernie Sanders?

  41. Bernie Sanders is the definition of lifelong politician.

  42. One very simple question. How do those numbers compare to the number from China which, by all intents and purposes, is having a much harsher and stronger impact? Or had it. Let's line up the numbers from that real life development and what is listed here, millions and such. Why not do that, just to put it all in perspective?

  43. COVID-19, how long has it been here, among US? No one really knows. With World travel what it is it is hard to imagine a few cases did not landing on our shores well before identified. A small number of cases concealed as part of the current bad flu seasons. I had the Mother of all chest colds this January, stayed home until recovered. It would be nice to know, slim chance if it was COVID-19, most likely not. If so I would have "some" immunity and could help the sick rather than just shelter in place. We need to know our status short term infection virus positive protect others from your infection, and longer term antibody immunity to the virus, safe to serve others that are infected.

  44. Oh yeah, and hey, President Einstein, how about rescinding all of those efforts to cut food assistance, especially as K-12 schools close and kids may not be getting even the minimal nutritional needs and other supports that have been folded into the school-based centers. And more people around the house, with extended families and elders, increases risks for some but changes the locus to households. These are simple measures that an administration that could walk and chew gum at the same time would consider. At this point, most of us would settle for just walking.

  45. you cannot get tested. they dont want to test you. they are frightened to have big numbers. it is unchecked and growing exponentially. if this continues it will be a tragedy for mankind NY times, wake up

  46. and Trump is intent on making it the worst case...Republican malign intent on full display. "Trump administration blocks states from using Medicaid to respond to coronavirus crisis" "WASHINGTON — Despite mounting pleas from California and other states, the Trump administration isn’t allowing states to use Medicaid more freely to respond to the coronavirus crisis by expanding medical services." https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-03-13/trump-administration-blocks-states-use-medicaid-respond-coronavirus-crisis

  47. One has to wonder if the Trump-Kushner crime family isn’t hoping for a peak crisis in October to justify calling off the 2020 election. Crazy idea no? Of course it is, but ....

  48. THANK YOU for FINALLY putting the potential impact of this virus into real numbers!! People have no clue what percentages mean, particularly when they seem "small." I continue to be appalled at the people who minimize this by saying "only" 2% or 1% will die (or worse, "So what? Old people die all the time.") They have no flippin' clue what those percentages even mean when you take into account the total numbers. Now, if only we could get Faux News to be truthful about the potential numbers ...

  49. Here's how mortality statistics work: If the probability of death is only 0.1% but you die, you'll be 100% dead!!!! Follow all recommended preventive hygiene measures!!!!!!

  50. When did the top authorities learn this and why didn’t they say early on this is not fake news?

  51. Step aside, Donald. Let the adults take over! You are not a "natural".

  52. Thank you, just the kind of apocalyptic news we needed.

  53. The seriousness of the illness doesn’t seem to match with the public message of “Just wash your hands for 20 seconds and don’t go to large gatherings.”

  54. So public health information was withheld from public consumption for a month. During that month the cretins in the white house, russian republican party, and state run propagandists on fox were talking about conspiracy theories and downplaying expert opinions. When democrats regain total control of everything in November, there better be some serious payback. I'm talking revocation of fox's broadcasting license. I'm talking criminal investigations for republican abettors. Democrats, please rewatch Pulp Fiction. Because it is high time to "get medieval" on them.

  55. Fire up long dormant factories and start making medicines here in the USA. No more dependency on China

  56. “All red tape has been cut. Ready to go.” —Donald J. Trump, the world’s funniest comedian (Trump has once more disparaged the CDC as “very slow.” Imagine that.)

  57. Give it some weeks and increased testing, more will know how widespread this virus is in America. Alabama no infections to date? Get real. They'll always be those among us suspicious of science, but fully accepting of the most nonsensical religious teachings imaginable..and so it goes.

  58. I have been told that this is a failing newspaper with fake news so this seems like nothing other than a hit job on a very fine microbe. And by the way there are very fine microbes on both sides. There really are. We are winning.

  59. The UK Government has adopted a different strategy to everyone else, which is either a stroke of genius or an act of mass murder. Only time will tell. Rather than draconian lockdowns they are merely attempting to smooth out the peak of infections so the health service is less pressured. The result should mean fewer deaths - because every critical case will get intensive care - but wider infection over a longer period. This may not be a bad thing if the population develops immunity whereas other countries will keep facing spikes in cases when they come out of lockdown. Anyway that, I think, is the theory. Let's hope it's right

  60. If nothing else, the coronavirus is showing us the egregious failure of our nation’s health care system. We see failure of the current executive branch of the federal government to coordinate, to lead, to inspire constructive action. We suffer the failure of our profit-driven health care model to provide adequate resources in the wealthiest nation on earth. If not for the Boogie Man of the ACA, how many millions of people would be left on their own, unable to afford treatment? We have become the lab rats in the experiment testing the hypothesis that less government is better. How’s that working out?

  61. The longer that people live, the more of their estate goes to doctors and caregivers, instead of their kids, thereby INCREASING inequality!

  62. @David Polewka You win the prize for oddest comment of the year...

  63. Use containment like China and treat patients like South Korea (Kaletra or hydroxychloroquine for 10 days). China has basically stopped the spread of covid 19 and South Korea has mitigated the critical care needs of those infected(look at the amount of critical care patients there as opposed to Italy) why don't we just copy what works instead of panicking?

  64. There is no hard evodemce that those drugs work, and they are absolutely NOT what’s driving the rates down in those two countries.

  65. Alaska reported its first case yesterday. If it's here, it's going to be everywhere. The local university has implemented a plan for switching all in-person classes to online-only and is closing the dorms in an attempt to spread out the students. Faculty and staff are being told to keep all gatherings under 25 people. But how can we proctor exams in classes with 40 or 50 students? Answer: split them into groups of 20-25! Obey the letter of the rules while attempting to circumvent the spirit and reasoning for them in the first place! (The suggestion was made by the youngest, healthiest person in the room, apparently oblivious to the risk to older or less healthy individuals. )

  66. @dtm - The college I teach at is shifting to all online and we have been told to not proctor exams. Concerns about potential cheating on an exam pale in comparison to concerns about coronavirus. As they should.

  67. We need to take steps to burn the virus out, identity where it is and keep people receiving a pay check while maintaining infrastructure. To burn it out people need to know when to stay home or isolate in communities. And they need to know their bills and businesses will be okay. We don’t need payday loans. This isn’t a time for profit. Focus on helping people feel confident to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the entire community.

  68. @Mathias no testing for general population only if you are rich or well connected glitterati do you get test

  69. @Mathias.. Does this also apply to the millions of resident illegal immigrants who don't dare apply for assistance lest they fall into the clutches of ICE?

  70. @Mathias Good point. People are already being laid off from all levels of jobs. Others have small operations (food carts) and gigs. All are affected. In many areas they are being gouged for rent. What are they to do? I hope it gives people an idea of what millions face everyday with no relief in sight. This is where the inequities of tax policies, wage, and wealth are so baldly obvious.

  71. There is one test most of us can do, which was done in China and other places, take your temperature before you leave the house. Oral thermometers are pretty common and we can all make sure we don't have a fever before we leave the house. And wash you hands.

  72. There were no thermometers left at any of the stores we visited this last week. Most of the cold tablets and cough medicines were sold out as well.

  73. Let’s not forget we have a President who didn’t want the cruise ship off the coast of SF to dock because it would add to the totals. It’s hard to think of a federal response more callous than that. Of course, if there is one, I have no doubt they’ll find it.

  74. There is: witness President Obama declaring a national emergency 6 months after the CDC called the swine flu an epidemic. He did so by releasing a written statement, not actually speaking to the nation. That was in late October of 2009. The CDC estimates that up to 80 million Americans were infected that year, 18,000 died. The NYT reported this.

  75. This is not the flu. The flu kills that many every year. We are only at this start of this; it is believed to kill conservatively 7x more and could many more people. Please compare the numbers a year from now not a few weeks in when we aren’t even testing adequately yet. Be responsible. If it isn’t so bad, great; it didn’t kill you to do your best for your community members when we didn’t know for sure.

  76. Epidemiologist Kristen Mertz (Allegheny County, PA) maintains that there have been no known transmissions of covid-19 while at the same admitting that testing can only happen in emergency rooms. It’s so easy to make a case for “no known transmission” if no testing has been done. Too many officials are blowing smoke to cover their inadequate responses to this pandemic.

  77. How can we learn anything about the virus’s transmission if we can’t test people who have symptoms? How can we analyze data if private labs are not required to share the results of tests with the CDC? I have lost faith in the U.S.’s ability to manage a crisis.

  78. @C - The U.S. has the ability to manage a crisis, just no under this administration.

  79. This is a great and informed article, but I unfortunately think it underestimates the numbers due to the indirect effects on the healthcare system. The overwhelmed system and over burdened clinicians will no longer be able to provide care for all other conditions to the same level they currently are. ICU beds are currently not empty - and take care of critically ill patients. Sacrificing these beds for COVID-19 patients will undoubtedly have consequences.

  80. I visited my doctor in January for a pneumonia vaccine after I heard about our state’s “first” patient. This patient traveled on a plane, sat in an airport waiting room, and walked through an airport. I asked my doctor if I should stop going to hot yoga classes because of my age and vulnerability. My doctor was nonchalant and told me not to visit China. Washington is now the worst hit state for Coronavirus. When I rarely venture out, it is for a walk or to go to the grocery store. It disturbs me that people aren’t observing social distancing. We are so used to the good times that we appear to be unable to responsibly safeguard ourselves and thereby our communities.

  81. @Kris Kris, I'm also at risk, and you have my sympathy. I've figured out what I think is a polite way to tell people to keep their distance, and I'm also going out as little as possible, with the exception of long walks. Healthy people, especially young healthy people, just don't understand the fear I feel every time one of them coughs in my vicinity. I wish you well.

  82. @Kris It's worth noting that unfortunately the pneumonia vaccine does nothing against COVID-19.

  83. @Kris Being retired I don't have to go out that much. However yesterday I went to the grocery store and thought I would try my hand at social distancing. It's hard. It was an eyeopener. Another thing I realized is I touch my face far more often than I thought. But one posiive is I think I have the cleanest hands in the country.

  84. In the not too distant past a pandemic like this ( or something far less) would bring out the religious folks telling us that it was god’s punishment for one thing or another. Where are they now? I guess when the outbreak is being mishandled by their own they know enough to shut up.

  85. Let me summarize the comments so far to save you some time. -Most of us will die from coronavirus. -It's Trump's fault (this also applies to any NYT comments section) -The Stock Market will never recover. Do any of you realize how ridiculous you come across when everything is Trump's fault? He for sure needs to go, but most of these comments need to be put in all caps so your ranting can be more easily ignored.

  86. @edward you are correct...Republicans have created the Covid-19 response crisis through 40 years of diligent political work.

  87. If your immune system is compromised, isolate yourself, we cannot all isolate ourselves, if we did , we would run out of food to eat, you would run out of water to drink, the supply chain would collapse. Someone needs to keep the machines going. Bernie did do one thing better than all the others. He brought the healthcare industry to light, in all its naked, ugly glory. High costs hurt so many Americans. Now that the virus is upon us, it will make healthcare costs even worst and we will have lingering anger and frustration long after the virus finally dissipates.

  88. First, I want to thank Dr. Sheri Fink for her amazing reporting work in recent days. She has carefully explained WHY the United States is so far behind in testing and in other ways to contain the virus. Thank God we have so many highly intelligent people in the country delivering the truth about what we can expect going forward. Too bad we are about 6-8 weeks behind in testing compared to other countries. South Korea has been able to test more than 200 thousand of its residents, even the UK has been able to test some 30 thousand. Have we even hit 2 thousand Americans tested yet? I wish Jerry Falwell Junior (another Trump nutcase) would read this story. He said this morning he thinks the whole coronavirus outbreak is the work of the Democrats "out to get Trump." But he good news is he offered another (conspiracy) theory so we can take our pick. He says he was talking to a man in a restaurant recently and he thinks Kim Jong un got together with China to "send the Christmas gift to the U.S." One more note: We Americans are all in this together. Let's try our best to hold on to our civility with one and other. Went to Whole Foods last night in downtown Chicago where tempers were flaring. One man hurled his basket of food to the floor blaming the virus for the long checkout lines. I stopped at the Jewel grocery store after that where it happened again. Folks, we're all in this barrel together, let's roll with it with patience and dignity toward our fellow Americans. Thank you.

  89. Great stuff, NYT. Data and background we all need. Here are some other things you need to report on to ease our minds: 1. Are the ventilator manufacturers now on a "wartime footing" in terms of production? If not, why not? 2. Are the hospitals rapidly staffing up their ICUs? If not, why not? 3. Can you provide an educated guess (as the state of Ohio did yesterday) on the actual number of infected Americans TODAY? thanks!

  90. Frankly, nearly as alarming are the best case scenarios. The CDC announced mid-week that even if we now step up our game and do everything right (and there are no signs that that is happening) we can conservatively expect to need 2 million beds in hospitals. We currently have 1 million. Can someone please explain to me how we plan to conjure/create a million beds in a few weeks? The Chinese built two hospitals in that time; we cannot even manage producing enough masks or tests. We also lack enough respirators, masks, nurses, doctors, and supplies just to care for the C-virus patients. Now layer in the "regular" daily sick who will receive no care and you begin to grasp the scope of the crisis. It's time this nation ignored the willfully ignorant and uninformed and plowed ahead in the attempt to ameliorate the worst. A fatal lack of inaction is going to cost us many more lives. Because tragically, our best case scenario is still abysmal. ----- A friend just told me that her friend, who is a nurse in northern Italy, called to warn her to expect the very worst and then amplify it. This Italian woman says the coverage has not even begun to limn how dire things are; her hospital is basically out of all medical supplies and doctors and nurses are now falling sick. My friend is taking this so seriously that she is sending her daughters to the family farm in West Virginia until this is over.

  91. I don't understand. The low estimate is 200,000 American deaths and the high is 1,200,000. China has four times, almost five times, the American population and the death total in that country, the epicenter of the disease, is around 8,000. Why would America deaths, at the lowest estimate, be 25 times the total deaths in China when our population is 1/4 as large? Korea had a substantial outbreak that now has subsided after a few hundred deaths. Can someone explain why projected American fatalities are so off the chart compared with other recent national expriences?

  92. We can bend the curve in the US but have yet to take the type of actions deployed in China and South Korea. Epidemiologists can model those actions, once they know what they are, to see how they affect the peak. As actions in the US to date have been largely inconsistent and uncoordinated across the public and private sectors, it is hard to project their effects on the population. The heaviest fatality rate occurs when the case rate exceeds capability of the health system to provide supportive care. So retarding transmission to keep the peak down is critical to keeping the fatality rate down.

  93. Our slow response compared to those two countries

  94. trump really has some gall dumping on Obama for the Coronavirus outbreak. The trump administration over the last three years has been drastically cutting budgets and gutting public health agencies, eliminating preparedness teams, and abruptly dismissing expertise. It has been a deliberate concerted effort to dismantle the important measures Obama made to effectively protect the nation from the 2014 Ebola infection crisis. And as with all things Obama, trump is doing these things vengefully and recklessly. The nation is already paying a huge price with the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak and more is definitely on the way. Meanwhile FOX news (essentially trump’s propaganda agency) is fully engaged in a concerted cover up to camouflage just how badly managed the COVID-19 response has been and continues to be in the US.

  95. @Ms. Pea Don’t be snowed! The new normal you envision will likely be on the order of those following 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, with the tragic distinction that our leaders’ hubris (and the decline of our democratic ethos over the last four decades—excepting a few bright exceptions proving the rule) has brought this catastrophe upon ourselves. Around the world, individuals and governments are at varying points on the learning curve regarding implications of this dress rehearsal for apocalypse. I say ‘dress rehearsal’ because while *millions* are expected to die as a result (likely 1MM in the US alone—inconceivable until this week to all but a cadre of muzzled experts), the dynamics of arrested grief sustaining the denial which brought us to this point are exactly the same as those we must transcend if we’re to save ourselves from the *utterly* obliterating peril of global climate change. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance are the tasks with which we must progressively come to terms—individually and collectively—if we ever hope to flatten the emissions curve necessary for preserving the viability of our species and planet. While current attention must remain laser-focused on recovering from the effects of this epidemiological own-goal, I pray we don’t then squander the opportunity to process our horrendous loss through to acceptance of the need to better learn lessons of informed preparation...lest we all then shrivel and die in this precious blue-green pod.

  96. The figures in the article look to be an underestimation rather than a worst-case scenario. There's an excellent Coronavirus article by Tomas Pueyo available on-line which also includes links to the underlying calculations based on real life experience in China etc. His figures conclude that around 20% of all coronavirus cases will require hospitalisation, and 5% will require critical care. The virus will become endemic. The US has failed to contain the disease, so it will spread until eventually everyone will have some exposure. Within the next 2-4 weeks it will likely arrive in your neighbourhood if it isn't already there. The US has passed the point where the rate of infection becomes exponential i.e. doubles each day. Most health policies have moved from containment to mitigating the rate of infection to allow health care services to retain some capacity i.e. if 20% of your population requires hospitalisation, it is better to see that need spread out over months (or years) than arrive in the next 12 weeks. In S Korea where the rate of infection has been slowed, hospitals have coped and the fatality rate is below 1%. In Italy where the rate of infection has not been slowed, hospitals have been overwhelmed and the fatality rate is around 4%. We are starting to see images of mass graves being dug in Iran.

  97. You need to provide a range, worse and best scenarios. And scenarios with testing and not testing. Where are the testing kits? We're still waiting for them. Someone write an article about why they are so important.

  98. The mortality rate for Coronavirus in the US is among the best of all nations that have a substantial number of cases. I would say that the UD healthcare system is doing a great job of dealing with this pandemic.

  99. As we aren’t testing, it’s also quite possible there are more fatalities than are being attributed to coronavirus at this time. It would be useful to look at all deaths with a diagnosis of bilateral interstitial pneumonia since mid-Jan.

  100. @Ehill OMG! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! Please, stop giving into the media driven hysteria.

  101. Thank you for revealing these numbers. I think it is a scandal that there hasn't been immediate transparency about these numbers by government agencies. Sure, there are uncertainties. But the delay in helping people appreciate the likely seriousness of this pandemic will have caused many needless deaths. The U.S. should have been testing and started augmentation of the nation's hospital facilities weeks, if not months, ago. Also, messaging should stop saying that you should be tested, or undergo quarantine only if you (or your relative/friend/coworker/neighbor) shows symptoms is *inadequate*. If there are typically a few days that a person can be shedding virus before they have symptoms, then everybody -- regardless of age -- should be staying away from everybody else, and away from places where others might be, unless necessary. Keep up the honest reporting!

  102. If this was known in February, why did Trump sit on his hands until this week? The numbers are shocking, and no one was taking effective action other than banning travel from China. Blood is on the hands of those who were told about this CDC report and did nothing.

  103. I have a friend who is a doctor in LA. While they are taking swabs of patients they think might have COVID-19, they can’t get the tests. So we have no way of knowing what the real numbers are. Ignorance is not bliss in this case.

  104. The one number that I wish you had included, for context, is how many people die naturally or from accidents each year in the US anyway, because the more extreme numbers are very scary. It is almost 3 million per year. So while a number in the hundreds of thousands is extremely scary, to the extent those were deaths that were likely to happen that year anyway, you can't just add the two.

  105. Well that’s very consoling. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  106. It isn’t just people dying “anyway.” They was is in addition to, and avoidably has we been testing and isolating responsibly the way other countries are doing. Had Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson been one CA they would not have been tested. Or isolated. Multiply that by literally millions.

  107. @Eknath The most hilarious conservative line we've heard recently is that 'everyone dies--we should not be concerned about increasing the rate at which they do so.' This apparently is an excuse for Trump failing to address this issue reasonably. Conservatives, however, didn't apparently feel that way after 9-11. "Only" 3,000 people died then--and (using your logic) many of them would have died anyway, from other causes. So why were you so aggrieved by that? If you kill someone, even if it's only 5 minutes before they would have died anyway, it's still murder. The president withheld critical testing knowing that people would die because of it. That's murder.

  108. Envisioning worst case scenarios may be useful for disaster planning but has nothing to do with actual events as they are currently unfolding. Nearly two months since the first reported U.S. case we have forty deaths in a country of 330 million. Indeed, the obligatory footnote, even one virus-related death is too many, but even in China, where the new strain originated, the deaths, according to WHO statistics, have been dramatically reduced. Hysteria much less complaining are hardly useful responses in this situation. This is a controllable pandemic and if we stop shooting ourselves in the feet and elsewhere we'll get through it fine.

  109. We still need well-designed population tests for antibodies to gauge transmissibility and the case fatality rate.

  110. I've really had it with the media adding unneeded fuel to this pandemic. You now have the elderly in an unnecessary panic. We're going to get through this just fine. The mortality % of this virus will eventually be reported much lower than current estimates. We can't use numbers from countries with lower medical and sanitation standards as our baseline. It's not just China either. There are hospitals in Italy that with conditions that would leave the average American in utter disbelief. The lack of testing in the US does not help Trump by keeping the infection numbers down like everyone's postulating. If we had widespread testing, the death-rate would be dramatically reduced. That's the number that matters because the 3% number is whats causing all the unnecessary panic. You need to look at countries with good medical care systems. South Korea and Germany provide a more accurate statistical representation of what can be expected in the US. Tens of thousands die annually from the flu, and the low % of deaths vs infection rate is what keeps that figure out of the news cycle. It would be nice to see a best case scenario companion article to this one. We know that will never happen. I hope once this blows over and the outcome is not as bad as predicted. That the same media that over-hyped the danger will apologize for fanning the flames. When they fail to do so, I hope you will finally realize they are not above exaggerating any opportunity for political ends.

  111. @RSB Just FYI, Italy has a healthcare system considered one of the best in the world -- better than ours.

  112. Shotgunning today’s Faux News talking points doesn’t really add much to the conversation. Compare best case mortality rate of coronavirus with that of the common flu and you’ll see the rate is estimated to be at least four times greater for Covid 19. So, better safe than sorry.

  113. @Rebecca In the main cities their healthcare is acquit, but overall it's certainly no where near best in the world. We're not talking about overall patent satisfaction ratings. Look at their 5 year survival rates for cancer diagnosis. In their smaller cities and towns there's no comparison with the US health care system. The virus mortality numbers reflect the country as a whole. Not just the areas with good hospitals. China has some great hospitals as well. That means nothing for the overall statistics when some areas are severely lacking. The worst hospital in the US is a far cry above the worst hospital in Italy or china. @Pde I don't watch fox news, so I wouldn't know their current narrative. I'm not trying to disparage any country's medical system. I'm only stating that the worst case scenario numbers are woefully inaccurate for a US baseline. Therefore the panic they are inducing is unneeded and reckless.

  114. Can someone suggest a polite way to ask strangers in public to keep their distance? I am at high risk but I still have to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc. What's worked for other people?

  115. @KM Try wearing a mask. Yes, I know, we should leave the actual surgical masks for the health care workers, but there are fabric masks you can buy, or you can make your own. Hopefully people will see it, wonder if you're sick, and keep their distance. Either way, it will get the message across that you are trying to be careful.

  116. Tell them you are high risk and please give you space. Nothing rude about it. Wear a bandana over your mouth so they get the message loud and clear. Stay well.

  117. @KM I'm ordering through Amazon rather than shopping in person.

  118. By limiting our exposure to other people we reduce risk. Here in California we are trying to be sensible, to practice caution and do our part in consideration of others. We're in this together and if that means taking walks or riding our bikes instead of elbowing around cafes we'll do that. Like you, we're just trying to wait this out.

  119. Not sure how polite people are being. Here’s an experience a friend of mine shared regarding behaviors observed in Berkeley CA yesterday: I was just in Berkeley bowl. It's a riot in there. Half the shelves are empty. They were almost totally out of bread. while in line of pushing match broke out by somebody telling someone not to get so close to them and they literally were ramming their carts into each other violently.

  120. Our state...schools closed, churches closed, museums closed, senior centers closed, emergency funds tapped, full state response for all. Our governor is a former Secretary of Heath and a director of the Agency on Aging. Everyone working together. This is why you vote responsibly.

  121. @Edgar My state too No drama, capable, professional governor. No drama, professional mayors. Professionals with experience in the jobs that require professionals with experience. Nobody’s ridiculous kids running around playing at being “leaders” I want my country back

  122. @Edgar My state too No drama, capable, professional governor. No drama, professional mayors. Professionals with experience in the jobs that require professionals with experience. Nobody’s ridiculous kids running around playing at being “leaders” I want my country back

  123. @Edgar Oh, just say it outright: This is why you vote for Democrats, or should. Always.

  124. Governor Cuomo is currently holding a press conference and is giving us very pertinent information to deal with the coronavirus. I am not a fan of his but he has been excellent in his delivery. He has made some very good proposals to keep us safe but is not sugarcoating this outbreak. He knows it is serious and we do not know how much worse this will become. It will get worse before it gets better. He said this will not end next week or even next month. We must all be aware and take this seriously. He is taking this seriously and we must too. We must listen to the experts and follow their advice.

  125. With that I agree. But bit of a pity Cuomo or Inslee or Obama or Clinton ain’t running the country, don’t you think?

  126. In an age where we have more knowledge, science, and technology at our disposal than any other time in history, we have allowed a single-cell organism to cause such calamity. Surely we could do better than this.

  127. @LTM It's not even a single-cell organism. It's just a strand of RNA--a molecule--in many respects not really alive. But it was just such molecules that created life on this planet. There's no reason to believe that they can't extinguish whatever species they "chose" to.

  128. A virus is an RNA or DNA core covered by protein that attacks a cell, not a cell, is that correct?

  129. These are not even worst case scenarios - 1% death rate? That's lower than China and Italy (and many other places). If our hospitals are overwhelmed it could be much higher than 1%. Also, the low range is a quarter of a percent? No place in the world has that low of a death rate right now - the absolute lowest we've seen is like 0.6 percent.

  130. The actual cases for the US is showing artificially low because they aren't testing anyone. We should be testing as many people as possible. (see South Korea, keeping their curve flat by testing more people every day than the US has tested cumulatively) But Trump is only focused on keeping the numbers low - he didn't want the cruise ship to come to shore because it would "add to our numbers". (see his comments during his tour of the CDC) I'm astounded at how many smart people are not realizing this is something that can be transmitted without symptoms - and week by week the numbers will explode. (see Italy)

  131. Here’s why social distancing works: if 10% of the population distances itself then there remains (roughly) 90% of the population interacting with only 90% of the population. So you have only 90%*90% = 81% as many interactions (and opportunities to transmit disease) as you normally would. This is a reduction in infectious interactions of 19% from baseline. - 10% social distancing results in 19% fewer opportunities for transmission. - 20% social distancing results in 36% fewer opportunities for transmission. - 30% social distancing results in 51% fewer opportunities for transmissions. If you have the ability to stay away from other people, please do so. It is not being selfish, it is an act of generosity.

  132. “Anyone who needs a test, can get a test. Anyone.” — Donald J. Trump, the world’s funniest comedian

  133. “There are only 15 cases, and most of them have made a remarkable recovery. . . Soon the number will be down to zero.”

  134. The world’s biggest liar.

  135. Noam Chomsky: Today’s GOP is ‘the most dangerous’ threat to the species ‘in human history’

  136. For a couple of weeks, I’ve been asking WHY the U.S. supposedly the most powerful land wealthiest nation on Earth doesn’t have enough test kits?! I suspect it is because Trump is deliberately keeping the numbers low! In the meantime, folks who are infected are spreading the virus, unbeknownst to them or others. This is what we get when we elect an egotistical, narcissist whose only concern is for himself and “his approval numbers.” Thanks Republicans, YOU own this incompetent fool!

  137. Fix the problem. Stop playing politics. I wnat solutions to the virus. I'm not interested in placing blame. Make us safer!

  138. I only want to hear from highly trained and experienced medical professionals. The rest of you politicians and pundits, please shut up!

  139. My wife and I are ages 83 and 81 and are necessarily in lockdown where we live, St. James Place, a retirement community of more than 400 residents in South Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We are at a furious loss to even begin to comprehend the abject failure of the demonstrably and hopelessly dangerous and destructive "administration" of Donald Trump in the ongoing coronavirus crisis. We await you, New York Times, your publishing of an editorial condemning Trump and his gaggle of idiots for subjecting us to this threat of death, while he inconceivably contradicts the nation's health experts on the severity of the coronavirus threat.

  140. This is a dangerous time. Right now. Because the government has botched its most important job--keeping the American public safe. Trump has once again shown his incompetence in not pushing faster and harder for a test to be readied in time for us to know decisively where to isolate communities and how to slow the rate of exposure. Trump's carelessness and his incompetence will kill people now. Just as when his thoughtless abandonment of the Kurds led to many deaths among people who had fought and died for our security. As a commander-in-chief Trump gets an 'F.' Now, for the economy, he gets an 'F.' Is there any subject he is passing? Thanks to all the people, especially Democrats, who voted for Trump in 2016. Do you see now what you did?

  141. So has the president re-hired the Pandemic Planning Team that he fired?

  142. What, Me worry? I sit here with my hoard of toilet paper and 200 cans of tuna fish and Campbell's Soup, and am prepared to sit it out in self quarantine. Going to drink some Coronas to boost my immune system, pull up a chair, turn on the TV, and watch some exhibition baseball and March Madness.,,,,,,, but I can't seem to find them on my cable guide.

  143. RM Worry about mercury poisoning maybe.

  144. A few thoughts from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, 1726. “I said, 'there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving, by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid." “... he never tells a truth, but with an intent that you should take it for a lye; nor a lye, but with the design that you should take it for a truth...” “He said, he knew no reason why those who entertain opinions prejudicial to the public should be obliged to change, or should not be obliged to conceal them. And as it was tyranny in any government to require the first, so it was weakness not to enforce the second: for a man may be allowed to keep poisons in his closet, but not to vend them about for cordials.” “...Providence never intended to make the management of public affairs a mystery to be comprehended only by a few persons of sublime genius...” “...they have no conception how a rational creature can be compelled, but only advised, or exhorted; because no person can disobey reason, without giving up his claim to be a rational creature.”

  145. @Joseph Swift never disappoints.

  146. The authoritarian communist Chinese government orders and enforces quarantine - 3,000 die Here in the good ol' USA with our vaunted freedom to behave irresponsibly and only 1/4 the population of China CDC worst case scenario is 1,700,000 dead? Freedom kills but it's worth dying for. Hmmmmmm...........

  147. But wasn't the Coronavirus just a simple type of common flu according to the half witted rightwing pundits?

  148. USA this morning 325,000,000 population 1885 cases Covid-19 39 cumulative deceased Average age of fatalities is 81 (Italy) 0 in US currently in serious condition ZERO NADA NIL This is entirely a media manufactured panic. https://ncov2019.live/data

  149. You just want to hit your head against the wall. First, that’s the number of cases CONFIRMED BY TESTING, not the number of cases. We have no idea what the actual numbers are, BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT BEEN TESTING. Second, we got from a few confirmed cases to 1885 darn fast. Third, the science says hold onna yer hat, because when we do start testing, that number starts straight up I’d like to be able to say so what, kill yourself and your own family as you like. Problem is, you’re endangering us adults.

  150. @Robert L Smalser By all means, please don’t wash your hands.

  151. @Robert L Smalser -- of course. And I bet you believe in the Easter Bunny as well.

  152. There's no way these numbers are accurate. The infection rate in China is 50 per 1 million people. The "experts" cited in this article think that 50% of the entire US population is going to get coronavirus? There's no way that happens. If it does, then the USA will be by far the worst country in the world to get hit. Let's take a look at some numbers. Infection rate by country (cases per 1 million residents): China: 56.1 Italy: 292.1 Iran: 135.3 S Korea: 155.6 Spain: 92.7 Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries Let's take the worst case scenario, Italy at 292 per 1 million residents. USA has 330 million people, so that would translate to 96,360 cases. That's an infection rate of 0.03%, nowhere near the 50% numbers that the article uses. Let's calm down folks. Coronavirus is a bad pandemic, but to project that 150 million people in the USA are going to get coronavirus is irresponsible based on all available data we have from other countries.

  153. @Diana your comparisons to Italy and China ignore their mitigation efforts...mitigation efforts NOT being implemented here.

  154. @Diana -- The German Chancellor said to expect an infection rate of 60-79% of the citizens. Expecting half of the US population to end up with the virus, while a doomsday scenario, is very real.

  155. @Diana Sorry to break it to you, but epidemics and pandemics do not follow your neat linear growth projections. They are closer to exponential in their infection rates. That said, until the half-life of the infection is understood better, no comment can be made with respect to whether or not this is a serious threat. Erring on the side of caution is the smart way to approach this. No one should panic, but understanding that you could get infected but merely be a carrier is something you should understand.

  156. If anything good can come from this, hopefully this virus has finally convinced people that believing in science and facts, listening to actual experts, being competent, having empathy, telling the truth, and having planning skills are important characteristics for a president. Vote wisely because it matters. Trump is a colossal disaster, as are the Republican Congresspeople and Senators who enabled his every despicable act.

  157. The New York Times has been giving us excellent coverage without causing hysteria. It has been for the most part fair and balanced at this very difficult time. Thank you and please continue this extraordinary reporting.

  158. As usual, the president is not a role model. If he was, he would be tested as per the protocol since people he has been in contact with have now been diagnosed with COVID-19. I hope people are keeping their distance from him.

  159. I certainly am!

  160. I'm thinking. Think. Think. Think. I'm thinking you could easily replace this announcement with a dire prediction about climate change. The two conversations are synergistic. We have a Venn diagram. That's what I'm thinking.

  161. Or ending the ongoing senseless wars

  162. Governor Cuomo thanked President Trump and Vice President Pence for their actions in fighting the coronavirus. This was so reassuring to hear and this should not become politicized. This virus does not discriminate. It has affected both Democrats and Republicans. If the politicians can put aside their political differences, we will deal much more effectively with this catastrophe. They all should remain level headed at this very difficult and trying time.

  163. Oh. So Trump’s stopped screaming at Nancy Pelosi every morning, then. No more yelling on FOX, Hannity, Breitbart, Rush, and the rest of the massive right-wing media wither. Good to know. Thanks.

  164. @KMW - I completely agree. Now will someone please tell that to President Trump? He’s the one who has said this will just “go away” if we all remain calm.

  165. I am utterly shocked by the number of intelligent people who believe that the threat of this pandemic is being "blown out of proportion". I realized that some people may not follow the news closely enough to understand the potential dangers but I also think that we in the the US are complacent. We may have a regional disaster, e.g. tornado, hurricane, etc. but we are not used to envisioning widespread disaster and therefore unconsciously assume that it won't affect us. I don't see sick people around me. In fact, the only visible problem right now is that people are hoarding toilet paper (go figure). Hence, it is easy to imagine that there is no real danger. But, as I have been mentioning to people, if we wait until we have large numbers of sick people around us, it will be too late. And we don't even really know how many sick people there are because there are no enough test kits and people with milder symptoms may not seek testing. This is time for people to work together and leave political in-fighting aside.

  166. We have an administration believing that everything can be spun and there are many "alternative" facts. Salesmanship does not work on mother nature.

  167. If the federal government does not provide guaranteed pay for hourly workers without paid sick leave, they will work until they drop and spread this virus to everyone else and get very sick themselves. They should stay home A) if they are exposed B) if they have symptoms, or C) if they have other health conditions, including being over 60. That pay to stay home is a good investment even though it is supporting non-wealthy people with taxpayer money. It saves money just in health care costs, not just saving lives. Republicans, please try to understand.

  168. Social distancing reduces the probability of the disease being passed on but it doesn't need to be an all or nothing approach. Perhaps we could start this with something like an odd even system where you stay home depending on whether your birthday falls on an even or odd date? This could be rolled out more rapidly with less disruption and perhaps would get people prepared for more extensive distancing later on.

  169. Peter Yes. I am sure that us what China did.

  170. The Spanish Flu exploded in early March 1918. But that was only its first, and mildest wave. It faded out as weather warmed, but then returned for a fierce second wave in the fall, aided by the international troop transit of WWI. It could be that spring weather will bring relief, but it isn't safe to assume that all safeguards and precautions can or will be rolled back at that point. It is possible that only the development of vaccine will permit that.

  171. The virus has been spreading in Brazil, which does not suggest that spring will bring much relief.

  172. The CDC models are very optimistic by using both a lower hospitalization rate and a lower death rate than what we see in other countries with more prepared health care systems. The W.H.O. found that in China 20% of people with the virus needed to be hospitalized for 3-6 weeks and that the death rate was 4-5%. Italy's death rate is over 7% of confirmed cases. It seems like wishful thinking to model much lower rates in the U.S. when we don't have proper testing or nearly enough ICU beds to handle the influx of a lot of covid-19 patients.

  173. I am a man in my mid forties in good health, and I am using social distancing to the best of my ability to minimize my interaction with others during this very critical time. Where I live, my child's school is off until the end of the month and my daughter will be living at my place and her mothers' half the time. I am keeping away from public places (I work from home) and meeting people in large gatherings. I feel like I should do my part even though I am healthy, so as not be a carrier to other parts of the population. More stringent than usual hygiene protocol is in effect at home. I have a number of very healthy friends in the same area and they are in the late twenties to late 40s age group. All of them are planning to be at parties and pubs this very weekend. I am simply alarmed at this and wonder why they would be so callous about a protocol at such a difficult time. I don't want them to panic, but at the same time, this is not normal circumstances.

  174. @FurthBurner -- perhaps it will take enough casualties from the 20-40 range for these folks to realize that by doing as they please they put the lives of others at risk.

  175. It's easy for me: I do a lot of stuff outdoors, don't have a lot of friends, don't mind being by myself, and am a retired physician. I feel for the majority of the country, who love crowds, do a lot of touching, and have big circles of friends. My adjustments still have not been easy; yours will be incredibly difficult.

  176. @Mike S.: You raise a valid point. The most difficult part of this will involve convincing healthy people to comply with social distancing efforts. Just this morning, my teenager, whose school district has closed for an extended Spring Break, was champing at the bit to go out and visit with friends. It's been ONE DAY, and he already has cabin fever! Weeks of this is going to be incredibly challenging.

  177. I share your thought has I find joy being alone running in the woods. This is something that I cherish.

  178. @Mike S. My semi-retired spouse and I are moderately social, but also have no problem being home for long stretches of time. The fact that we were work-from- home employees for many years (husband still is) has helped. My biggest worry is having enough food and paper goods for the bathrooms and kitchen.

  179. When the outbreak started in China, it was just news to watch on TV. That perception was so much different from the one I have now, being on a territory (Italy) entirely locked-down. It is uncharted territory, but we're facing it with courage and determination, keeping to the vigorous restrictions imposed by the government. We have a great health care system here but it's risking the collapse. We're doing everything we can. I'm confident this can be, if we want it to be, an eye-opening experience from many different points of view. As we lose our certainties, we can weigh up our values and start seeing this as an opportunity to gauge our strength, do some deep thinking, feel connected to one another and choose love over fear.

  180. I along with many of my colleagues at now closed firm called Global Business Network, have been in this scenario development area for a long time. Knowledgeable people will know this emerged out of the nuclear arms program and the oil industry (especially Shell Oil). This seems to be good scenario work as far as it goes. It needs to go further into alternative strategy development, deeper systemic analysis that allows learning, and the use of early warning signals tied to specific strategic responses. I hope they are doing some of this, but I doubt it based on reading this article. What is also missing here is a deeper assessment of the impacts of deaths and economic damage. Who is dying and what harm is being done to the economy needs to be thought through. For example widespread deaths of health care personnel would be a big deal in terms of who is dying. The economic analyses need to extend beyond the stock and bond markets to the community level so that local banks and governments can support key institutions to get them through a rough patch. The quality of the thinking we do here will save lives, communities and the economy.

  181. Why Shell Oil?

  182. @JPruitt Royal Dutch Shell used scenario-based planning in the late 1970's (and still does) to think long term about oil prices and energy markets. You can find out more at their website. They are famous for predicting the possibility of the Arab Oil boycott and being prepared for it. My former boss at GBN, Peter Schwartz, is the author of "the Art of the Long View," which explains a lot of this. My website at artofquantumplanning.com has details as well.

  183. Just a note of gratitude to the NYTimes for making coronavirus articles available to those without a subscription. It's a generous gift to the public. Many thanks!

  184. I hope something can be done about grocery stores. While people stockpile, they go to local stores that are overcrowded. The lines are long with people standing close to eachother. This creates a huge risk of further spread of the coronavirus disease.

  185. Here the supermarkets are fully stocked. People queue outside and are required to stand approx 10 feet apart from each other, wait usually 30-60 minutes and are admitted in small groups. Inside, gloves are required. This process seems to work quite well and check out is quick because there are no lines!

  186. As of this morning there is nowhere to go in Seattle and get tested. Perhaps trump would like to share all of these test sites or at least where Senator Graham got preferential treatment.

  187. One of the best interventions would be if Trump would lead the way and get tested, especially due to his proximity to others infected. His daughter too. We don’t need them blatantly infecting others. But oh, poor planning, maybe they can’t get the tests?

  188. Hmmmn. Isn't the CDC the same gang that mastered the test kits. Gonna have to take anything they say with a huge grain of salt.

  189. If your intent is to add more panic to the pandemic you succeeded. That is about it. Not sure what else you intended with an article titled "Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths" other than to scare people even more than they are scared now.

  190. NYChap People need to know the worse case scenarios so that they can take steps to protect themselves. Knowledge is power.

  191. Is it cruel, to point out that DJT's base is mostly older, lower educated white males, and the older part drops them neatly into the bucket of those most adversely affected by the virus? It is tragically sad that people are dying from something that could have been better mitigated, so even though it's easy to feel vindicated that proportionally high death rates in his base will be terrible for Trump, there are going to be scores of reasonable people who are going to suffer and maybe die because of the willful ignorance of DJT and his supporters. For the survivors, take a bit of comfort knowing that the apolitical virus will likely wipe out his reelection if things remain somewhat normal. However, the FEMA Act allows for the President to declare martial law, and his behaviors indicate that that is a real possibility unless the Senate is pressured to develop some spine.

  192. So why not skip testing and go into a three week localized quarantine across all of America? Be cheaper in the long run and we can pick up the pieces afterwards.

  193. The daily death rate in the US from this disease has remained stable at three to four per day since the first death was recorded on 29 February. In other nations like China, and in Italy where governments did not impose travel bans from Asia, the coronavirus ran out of control. Death rates in Italy rose steadily from four deaths the first day a death was recorded to 133 on Day 14. In China, the rates quadrupled on those first two weeks. Perhaps this will eventually run out of control in the US, but as of now it looks far more like the situation in Japan, where the virus was rapidly brought under control. In the US as of today, there have been 41 deaths and 10 people in critical care, for a total of 51 people so far placed in serious danger. In other places where the virus took hold the impact was immediately catastrophic. All the US deaths were elderly or sick, and half are from one elderly care facility. A good site to keep track of these statistics is: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ Information is power, and it can prevent panic.

  194. @Chuck French Japan took action immediately and closed its schools for a full month. Our deaths look similar because you don’t die immediately upon becoming diagnosed; it can take weeks. We will have deaths proportionate to the fatality rate unless we take immediate action to contain this.

  195. The entire world should hold China responsible for unleashing this death, illness, panic, and financial despair. It's bad enough they allowed it to happen by being opaque rather than transparent, but now they're officially blaming the US for launching a biomedical attack upon them. It's just too much -- they've proclaimed themselves an enemy, which isn't a surprise to many Americans, but our dependence upon them in so many ways has to be upended in the same fashion that we took control of energy needs from OPEC after decades of bending the knee.