Los Angeles Times

How alarming predictions about coronavirus losses in California gave way to guarded optimism

LOS ANGELES - The dire predictions from Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials have been steady and unnerving: Millions of Californians would be infected by the coronavirus, hospitals would be overrun, desperate patients could die without ventilators.

But a more optimistic outlook is emerging, with several epidemiological studies suggesting the state is probably at the peak number of daily new cases, as long as social distancing restrictions remain in place.

It was less than a month ago, on March 18, that Newsom wrote a letter to President Donald Trump saying that 25.5 million Californians would be infected within eight weeks. And on April 7, Mark Ghaly, California's secretary of Health and Human Services, said he believed the state would need at least an additional 15,000 ventilators to handle the crisis, which he predicted would peak in May or June.

But by Friday,

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