“Looking at the CPAC conference, there are about 20,000 participants. And there was a pretty good nationwide selection of people as far as we can tell. So there are people from every state in probably all age groups,” Lover told Gizmodo. “So using the one case that was confirmed out of the 20,000, we then extrapolate that to the full U.S. population of 329 million. And we can estimate about how many new cases there were on March 1.”

From there, they projected out to March 12, as Perkins’ team did. Their basic conclusion was remarkably close to Perkins’ bleaker forecast, with a median 54,000 cases estimated as of March 12. Their high-end estimate went as high as 125,300 cases by that date.