Despite the grim trajectory laid out by these private projections, which are labeled "For Official Use Only", President Donald Trump has been pushing for states to re-open and kickstart their economies.
The U.S.is already the world most affected country by the pandemic, having recorded 1,170,719 infections and 68,046 deaths.
An internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report leaked Monday to the media warned the USA could experience as many as 3,000 daily deaths by June with daily cases reaching 200,000 by the end of the month.
The White House is considering winding down the coronavirus task force soon. While the task force met Tuesday at the White House, Monday's meeting was canceled, and a Saturday session, a staple of recent months, was never held.
"While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counterproductive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings", White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in an emailed statement to TPM last week.
Still, it found that there "remains a large number of counties whose burden [of illness] continues to grow or are in an elevated incidence plateau, including in the Great Lakes region, parts of the Southeast, Northeast, and around southern California". "This is just the latest sign of Trump's efforts to keep the truth from the American people", added House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Reopening is not going to happen statewide all at once". "It was not in any way meant to be a forecast", he said.
This would be more than double what it forecast on April 17, when it estimated 60,308 deaths by August 4.
The work contained a wide range of possibilities and modeling was not complete, according to Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who created the model. "Remember", he said, "these are reported deaths; the true number is likely higher".
The memo reportedly said members of other federal agencies, like the Department of Health and Human Services, could still attend hearings.