Signs of a Flattening Curve?

COVID-19 cases are still climbing in hard-hit US states New York, New Jersey and Louisiana—but hospitalizations appear to be slowing, indicating the curve could be flattening, according to Reuters.

New York reported 599 new deaths Monday, close to Sunday’s count of 594 and down from 630 on Saturday.

An updated University of Washington forecasting model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also showed a decline in the expected deaths in the US—to 49,431 to 136,401, down from 138,000 to 177,866—during COVID-19’s first wave,the AP reports.

If the new projections are correct, it could mean the US may need fewer hospital beds, ventilators and other equipment than previously projected, The Washington Post says.

The Trump administration could use the lower projections to reject desperate pleas from states that need help with equipment and preparations.

That prospect looms amid more revelations that the Trump administration had ample warning of what was coming as early as January—yet repeatedly downplayed the risks and failed to prepare. Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, warned that millions of Americans were at risk of illness or death from COVID-19, and the virus could cost the country trillions of dollars in a January 29 memo—and urged the White House to take aggressive steps, The New York Times reports. But as Axios notes, senior officials dismissed the warning as alarmist and questioned Navarro’s motivations.

Around the World

Japan has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and 5 other COVID-19 hotspots; Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had come under fire for weeks of hesitating to take decisive action to stem the outbreak. Japan Times
Turkey is building 2 new hospitals in Istanbul that are slated to open in 45 days to accommodate COVID-19 patients, Al-Monitor reports; Turkey’s Inonu University is collecting blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a potential treatment for those suffering serious cases of the virus, Middle East Monitor reports.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson—who has COVID-19—is receiving oxygen support at a London ICU, but is not on a ventilator; Johnson has appointed foreign secretary Dominic Raab to manage the government, but there is no official protocol for naming a successor in Johnson’s absence. CNN

China reported its first day of zero COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, the first since the country began tracking in January—but the milestone comes amid concerns that China may be underreporting its case numbers. BBC
New Zealand is “squashing” its curve; new cases fell for the second consecutive day even with an aggressive increase in testing, with 54 probable or confirmed cases reported today. The Washington Post

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