Perhaps you saw this article in the NYT yesterday with the headline, “U.S. Quietly Fears Virus’s Daily Toll Will Soon Double”? CNN’s Brian Stelter is still posting about it this morning:

Here’s the opener:

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.

But 538’s Nate Silver immediately noted something off with what was reported in the article:

He warned not to take these numbers “at face value”:

“This also doesn’t make much sense”:

He even theorized the White House leaked these numbers on purpose to make themselves look better later on:

Or maybe they were leaked to scare the president:

But then the Washington Post added some context to the numbers, and it’s not good news for the NYT: “The 200k cases/day number was from an incomplete draft version of model and apparently one of many scenarios, not some sort of official White House estimate”:

“. . . it was irresponsible of them to release the slide deck and put such bold, somewhat misleading headlines on it without providing any of that context”:

Does the NYT realize the damage they’re doing here? People are at a point where they don’t trust anything and that’s really bad for both sides:



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