CDC acknowledges true coronavirus count is likely 10 times higher than official count

Health care workers rolling a body out of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 2.
REUTERS / Brendan Mcdermid
CDC director Robert Redfield told reporters on Thursday that the number of Americans infected with the novel coronavirus was likely ten times higher than the official number.
"Our best estimate at the moment is that there are actually 10 other infections for each reported case," he told reporters.
Redfield's intake reflects what researchers have been saying for months about the likelihood of a higher coronavirus count, especially in countries with severe outbreaks.
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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, admitted on Thursday that the number of Americans infected with the novel coronavirus was likely ten times higher than the official number.
Speaking to reporters, Redfield said that more younger people were diagnosed than in previous months, which led to a higher reported number of coronaviruses.
"Our best estimate at the moment is that there are actually 10 other infections for each reported case," he told reporters.
By Thursday, the CDC had registered 2.3 million coronavirus cases and more than 121,000 deaths. However, according to Redfield, the actual number of coronavirus cases could be well over 20 million.
He said that in the past, health officials did not effectively diagnose the coronavirus in people under 50 who did not need hospitalization. He also said that officials "did not aggressively pursue diagnostics in young asymptomatic people."
"I think we're obviously seeing infections targeting younger people right now," said Redfield, adding that these people were still at great risk of spreading the disease to other people.
"I am still concerned about trying to understand the effective public health news that we need to reach people under the age of 35 or 40 - where the effects and consequences of COVID-19 may not be great for them associated with hospitalization and death, "he added. "They act as a transmission port for people who may be at higher risk."
"How much of what we see now happened and just wasn't recognized?" he said.
The director said the CDC would "continue to conduct extensive surveillance across the country using antibody tests."
He added that while the number of coronavirus cases in the US appeared to increase as states lifted their restrictions, there were "probably" only about 110 to 120 counties known as coronavirus hotspots, which the CDC called Transmission is classified as "significant".
"That's about 3% of the counties in the United States," he said.
Redfield's recognition reflects what researchers have been saying for months about the likelihood of a higher number of coronaviruses, especially in countries with severe outbreaks.
"No one really knows," Elizabeth Halloran, biostatist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, told Business Insider Aria Bendix in April. "A lot of people were missing."
A study published Monday in Science magazine estimated that 8.7 million people in the United States may have the coronavirus from March 8 to 28, meaning millions may not have been diagnosed. During this time, only 100,000 cases were officially registered.
Despite the different numbers of official coronaviruses, numerous counts indicate that the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase in the United States. On Thursday, the number of new coronavirus cases increased by at least 39,818, the largest increase in the virus in one day since the pandemic started.
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