According to members of the federal government and state and local governments, Americans have begun to flatten the curve in the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The excitement was muted — after all, trends easily can reverse — but real. Americans have abided by recommendations and orders. They’ve left their jobs to stay at home; they’ve practiced social distancing; in many places, they’ve donned masks. The result: a reduction in expected hospitalization and death. According to the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model most oft cited by members of the Trump administration, the expected need for hospital beds at peak outbreak was revised down by more than 120,000, the number of ventilators by about 13,000 and the number of overall deaths by August by about 12,000.
Here’s the problem: We still don’t know the answers to the key questions that will allow the economy to reopen.