Figure 1: IHME projection of Daily Deaths from COVID19
Source: IHME (September 8)
With daily new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. now down by 65%, and having proved less deadly than the March/April wave, the political spotlight is moving to a wider set of election issues.
However, it is highly unlikely that the U.S. will see a dramatic drop in new daily cases such as the 95% falls in Italy and Spain in May and June, due both to COVID-19 fatigue among the population as well as the Trump administration's desire not to spread alarm about coronavirus into the election. Mask wearing, and social distancing, will likely remain lower than if the Trump administration were proactively still trying to fight COVID.
While treatments and medical knowledge suggest that the fatality rate could be lower, the approach of fall and winter mean lower temperatures, more indoor interaction and the risk of increased viral load. IHME latest projections provide a warning of what could happen this winter (Figure 1), with central forecasts that the daily cases of new infections could top 300,000, with the daily death rate exceeding March/April's peak.
If this projection is correct, then it will have an impact on the U.S. presidential election, given that the recent narrowing of opinion polls has partially been on a peaking of the summer Sun Belt wave. The timing will also bw critical, as any delay in this wave into December/January would help Trump.