The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday gave an optimistic report of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, saying he believed the death toll from the virus would be "much, much, much lower" than official projections.
Robert Redfield made the prediction on AM 1030 KVOI Radio on Monday, claiming that widespread social distancing has helped to greatly reduce the projected death toll. Many American governors have shut down their states, closing all but the most "essential" businesses and ordering residents to stay at home.
"Models are only as good as their assumptions," Redfield said, referring to earlier projections that estimated several million Americans dying from the virus. "Obviously, there was a lot unknown about this virus ... And models should never be used to assume that we have a number."
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams echoed the sentiment on Tuesday. He was asked whether the death toll will end up lower than the predicted 100,000 to 240,000 deaths, and replied, "Absolutely."
"I feel a lot more optimistic, again, because I'm seeing mitigation work," Adams said on "Good Morning America." "I want the American people to know: There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we feel confident if we keep doing the right thing for the rest of this month that we can start to slowly reopen in some places."