CDC: Coronavirus May Have Infected 10 Times More Americans Than Known

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CDC Director Robert Redfield said hundreds of millions of Americans remain at risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that the coronavirus may have infected nearly 25 million Americans, which The Hill noted is “a figure 10 times higher than the number of confirmed cases.”

  • CDC Director Robert Redfield said during a briefing that blood samples taken across the U.S. suggest that millions of people might have contracted the virus either without knowing it or with only mild symptoms.
  • Redfiend said the CDC estimates that for every confirmed case, an estimated 10 additional people have been infected: "We probably recognized about 10 percent of the outbreak."
  • The Hill reported that nearly 2.4 million Americans have tested positive for the virus, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
  • On Thursday, “Redfield said the serological surveys of blood samples, collected both for coronavirus tests and for other reasons like blood donations or laboratory tests, showed that between 5 percent and 8 percent of Americans have contracted the virus.”
  • The CDC director also said the relatively low percentage of Americans who have contracted the virus means hundreds of millions remain at risk.

"This outbreak is not over. This pandemic is not over. The most powerful tool that we have, powerful weapon, is social distancing," Redfield said. "We have responsibility to practice the social mitigation strategies to protect the vulnerable, to protect the elderly."

  • Redfield said the agency is “warily eyeing growing numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Southern and Southwestern states.”

Case counts have grown especially in states like Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia, all states where the average daily number of confirmed cases has doubled or more in the past two weeks. Hospitalizations are on the rise in many of those states, and Texas and Arizona officials have both sounded the alarm in recent days about dwindling hospital capacity.

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