On March 31, 2020, the CDC projected that eventually 100,000–240,000 Americans would die of coronavirus. The lower end of the estimate was reached within two months after the CDC made its projection, and the upper end was surpassed in November 2020.
The CDC uses an ensemble forecast, meaning it receives predictions from multiple sources and aggregates them to make its own forecast. As of December 2020, the CDC included 37 modeling groups in its ensemble forecast and was predicting the death toll 4 weeks in advance.
At the end of May 2020, the CDC correctly projected the death toll would surpass 115,000 by June 20.
At the end of July 2020, the CDC correctly projected the death toll would surpass 168,000 by August 22.
In mid-October 2020, the CDC correctly projected the death toll would reach 230,000–250,000 by mid-November.
In mid-February 2021, when the death toll had already reached 470,000, the IHME projected that the death toll would reach 600,000 by June 1. However, the death rate dropped during this time period and the total death toll on June 1 was not as high as expected, having reached only about 592,000. The total of 600,000 was reached two weeks later.
In mid-September 2021, when the death toll had already reached 670,000, the IHME projected that the death toll would reach 775,000 by the end of the year. That number was reached by the end of November 2021.