President Donald Trump assured Americans in a Tuesday morning tweet that "states are safely coming back" despite the death toll in the United States surpassing 45,000. As the country nears the end of the Trump administration's social distancing guidelines, with new guidelines issued on the reopening of the economy, a number of states are beginning to lift stay at home orders as they begin a phased reopening of their economies.
States are safely coming back. Our Country is starting to OPEN FOR BUSINESS again. Special care is, and always will be, given to our beloved seniors (except me!). Their lives will be better than ever...WE LOVE YOU ALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
The president's tweet came the same day that the number of confirmed cases in the country reached more than 840,000, with fatalities topping 45,000. That latter number, according to Reuters, more than doubled in the span of a little more than a week and rose by a near-record amount in a single day. On Tuesday, deaths rose by more than 2,750, which was just shy of a peak of 2,806 deaths in a single day on April 15. Tuesday also marked the highest single-day coronavirus-related death tolls for three states – New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Despite those numbers, health officials have stated that they do not mean stay-at-home restrictions are failing, as the number of deaths are "a lagging indicator of the outbreak, coming weeks after patients fall sick.”"0comments
As a result of the new case count and number of fatalities, The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the model used by the White House to estimate the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak, has increased its projection of expected deaths in the country. The Daily Mail reports that the model now predicts the national death toll to hit 65,976 by August, which is 5,561 more than previously forecast on April 9. That number is still lower than what had been predicted last month, when the model predicted there would be more than 90,000 deaths by August. That number dropped to 82,000 on April 7 and then decreased by another 20,000 just days later, in part due to stay-at-home orders that were put in place across the country.
Some officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, however, have warned that there could be a new surge in cases if stay-at-home orders are lifted too soon. Speaking to ABC News, Fauci warned that "if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you're gonna set yourself back," according to The Guardian. He acknowledged that while a gradual reopening of the economy may be "painful," moving too quickly is "going to backfire."