Forecasting death: CDC models says 2,000 in Florida by June

New York coronavirus
The CDC has been using models from eight researchers to forecast COVID-19 deaths.

Nationally and in Tallahassee a great deal of attention and criticism has been paid towards epidemiological models being used to predict how bad the COVID-19 outbreak could be, yet the CDC is using forecasting models that may suggest even worse scenarios than the most commonly-cited.

Much of the attention and criticism has focused on the widely-cited The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model produced at the University of Washington, which predicts more than 1,900 deaths in Florida by August, and more than 72,000 deaths nationally by that time.

In particular, Gov. Ron DeSantis has expressed strong frustration with reports citing the institute’s projections, particularly earlier projections that were far higher before Florida began seriously locking down and flattening its curve of infection growth. The curve now appears on a downslope.

Yet a consensus of models used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which do not include the IHME model now is projecting that Florida’s outbreak would result in a total of  2,000 COVID-19-caused deaths by May 30. The CDC tracks models from eight research offices, and does not user the IHME model.

That same ensemble of models is projecting the America’s death toll from the new coronavirus will be just under 100,000 by the end of May.

These are the models the federal government is relying on, and which the CDC is using to advise the states.

“The federal government is working closely with state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments, and other public health partners, to respond to this situation. Forecasts of deaths will help inform public health decision-making by projecting the likely impact in coming weeks,” the CDC states on its website.

Through Sunday, Florida has suffered 1,379 COVID-19 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health. The United States has seen a total of 67,461 die from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

The CDC is working with models developed by Columbia University, Imperial College London, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University off GenevaUniversity of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Texas at Austin, and independent researcher Youyang Gu.

Those individual models offer May 30 projections of COVID-19 deaths in Florid that range from 1,565 forecast by the University of Texas, to 2,332 forecast by Columbia University.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Anes11

    May 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Fake projections to keep businesses and people locked down. Cause of death being attributed to Covid with no evidence. All for the money and oppression.

  • FL Patriot

    May 4, 2020 at 9:19 am

    So where are your statistics from annual flu deaths in FL the past three years?

    It’s a fact of life that people die everyday.

    Florida has the highest population of elderly in any state. In a state of 22 million plus people; people die.

    99 percent of the deaths of COVID-19 in Europe and US have not one or two but three underlying conditions. 99 percent.

    The mass hysteria sustained by the media is shameful.

    If the state is not reopened sooner than later the so called “second wave“ will be more massive unemployment in FL.

    The overwhelming problem with politicians and bureaucrats controlling free enterprise In FL and elsewhere is that they have never signed the front of a pay check.

    Adults do not need government to “make them safe.” I am not wearing a mask because I am not sick. You don’t quarantine healthy people, but sick people.

    Florida was one of the last states to shut down. Where are the massive deaths, overflowing hospitals etc?

    Look at Sweden V Norway…. no lockdown V lockdown, yet no statistical difference.

    We should be opening up FL RIGHT NOW and we are way below what the strict CDC guidelines allow; it’s absolutely ridiculous and the harm done to our state economically and those who cannot work is untold; financially and emotionally.

    Look at the state of Georgia. No spikes and it is open.

    Florida needs to stop “cowering in place” and reopen.

    Unfortunately, it appears many making these decisions have been affected, & bought into the mass hysteria and federal narrative which has replaced authentic scientific data and common sense.

  • Sonja Fitch

    May 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Covid 19 leaves a trail as you move and breathe. Cover your mouth! Til better treatments and vaccine. Not if but When you get Covid! Cover your mouth!

  • Keith Carmona

    May 13, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    “Much of the attention and criticism has focused on the widely-cited The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model produced at the University of Washington, which predicts more than 1,900 deaths in Florida by August, and more than 72,000 deaths nationally by that time.”

    We now have over 84,000 dead, 1,827 in Florida.

    And it’s May, not August.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn