20 million Americans have had coronavirus, new estimate from CDC studies of blood samples collected nationwide shows
As many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, according to new estimate based on CDC studies of blood samples collected nationwide. If true, this further revelation shows that the reaction to this pandemic was exaggerated from the beginning. Considering that that only about one third of the supposed 120,000 deaths from deadly coronavirus, it is possible that the country has developed herd immunity, which occurs when a high percentage of the population is immune to a disease either through prior infection or vaccination.
The studies also show that the number of people infected is 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million confirmed cases. It also shows that millions of Americans are asymptomatic and never knew it. The number could also mean that about 6% of the country’s 331 million people have been infected, leaving a majority of the population still susceptible to the virus.
Some of the blood samples were collected by the CDC and others from blood donations and other sources. According to CDC, many infections were not caught in early testing due to limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), which at the time, were limited and federal officials prioritized testing for those with symptoms.
Last month, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said that as many as 25% of infected people might not have symptoms.
“It’s clear that many individuals in this nation are still susceptible,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on a call with reporters Thursday. “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually are 10 more infections.”
The U.S. is now recording 40,000 new cases per day, surpassing previous records set in April when New York was the epicenter of the outbreak. However, Dr. Fauci warned members of Congress that the United State could reach 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day if the country does not get a handle on the pandemic.
Dr. Thomas Tsai, a Harvard University health policy researcher, said 20 million seems reasonable, but “most of these estimates exist in a range” and it’s important to know how wide that is, according to a report from AP News.
“It’s hard to interpret this just from a single number and without the context for it,” such as what locations were sampled and whether it was truly a random slice of a population or areas of low or high prevalence, which can skew the results.