"About" in common usage means it's a pretty accurate number. "Up to" means a top limit. Big difference.
Fact Check: Trump Administration Document And Its 3,000 Deaths A Day Scenario:
"On Monday the New York Times published what appeared to be an explosive finding: an internal document from the Trump Administration that forecast many more coming deaths from the coronavirus than the president has predicted publicly.
Specifically, the document included projections that in the coming weeks the rate of daily new infections in the United States will rise so precipitously that by June 1 more than 200,000 people per day will be contracting the virus " and more than 3,000 people per day will be dying.
But there's an important caveat to this story. NPR contacted the epidemiologist who came up with the projections in the internal document, Justin Lessler of Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lessler says the projections cited in the document do not represent his final forecast. Rather they were part of work that's still very much in progress " in other words, incomplete.
"It's as if somebody looked over my shoulder when I was halfway through putting the work together and took a picture and put the results out there," he tells NPR. "The understanding is that [this] was always intended to be shown to people who were fully aware that this was work in progress, not a final result," says Lessler.
As to how and why the graphs were copied into the internal document, "I wasn't privy to the process," says Lessler. He says he also does not know whether the document " which is formatted like a series of slides for a presentation " was ever used to brief any officials in the Trump administration."
To see an incomplete version of his work disseminated and discussed so publicly was all the more unnerving since it's obvious from the graph that the simulations he's run thus far are not that robust " since they fail to predict the actual number of deaths to date. "Yes, this has been my day: having Nate Silver criticize my intermediate work on Twitter," he says, referring to the prominent blogger. "Which is," he adds with a chuckle, "you know, a great feeling."