Medical experts and even some Trump advisors are questioning the validity of the estimates of likely coronavirus deaths released by Trump.

The estimate of 100,000-240,000 was hurriedly selected, but there is little agreement about whether it is too low or too high.

Leading disease forecasters, whose research the White House used to conclude 100,000 to 240,000 people will die nationwide from the coronavirus, were mystified when they saw the administration’s projection this week.


The experts said they don’t challenge the numbers’ validity but that they don’t know how the White House arrived at them.


White House officials have refused to explain how they generated the figure — a death toll bigger than the United States suffered in the Vietnam War or the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They have not provided the underlying data so others can assess its reliability or provided long-term strategies to lower that death count.


Some of President Trump’s top advisers have expressed doubts about the estimate, according to three White House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

There have been fierce debates inside the White House about its accuracy.
At a task force meeting this week, according to two officials with direct knowledge of it, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told others there are too many variables at play in the pandemic to make the models reliable: “I’ve looked at all the models. I’ve spent a lot of time on the models. They don’t tell you anything. You can’t really rely upon models.”


Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the vice president’s office have similarly voiced doubts about the projections’ accuracy, the three officials said.