Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield testifies during a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee holds a hearing Thursday. The CDC predicted Thursday that U.S. deaths from the coronavirus could reach 143,000 by June 27. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo
June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday forecast the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus could reach as high as 143,000 by the end of the month.
In a death forecast weekly update, the CDC predicted -- based on 20 individual national forecast models from various institutions -- that the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could reach between 118,000 and 143,000 by June 27.
As of Thursday night, some 108,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus since the first U.S. infection was recorded on Jan. 20, according to a live tracker of the virus by Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC said its ensemble forecast suggests the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths per week will continue to decline overall, though the rate of deaths is expected to vary by state.
"In some states, cumulative deaths will increase at roughly the same rate as they have in recent weeks, while other states are likely to experience only a small number of deaths from COVID-19," the agency said.
The models used for the prediction forecast four weeks out and make various assumptions based on the levels of social distancing and other interventions prescribed by state, "which may not reflect recent changes in behavior," it said.
Last week, the CDC predicted newly reported deaths to range between 115,400 to 134,800 by June 20.
In the update Thursday, the CDC said the death forecasts are published to help inform public health decision-making by projecting the likely impact of the pandemic going forward.
"It is important to bring these forecasts together to help understand how they compare with each other and how much uncertainty there is about what may happen in the upcoming four weeks," it said.
A pedestrian walks past a bar established in 1933 after Los Angeles County officials closed it for the second time following a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles on August 10. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo