As many as 60 million Americans could have been infected with coronavirus, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield told the Journal of the American Medical Association Thursday.
The CDC released a report in June, published in JAMA, showing an infection rate in the United States of about 10%. Redfield said at the time he believed testing had missed 90% or more of cases.
Redfield said Thursday an infection rate of between 10-20% translates into as many as 60 million people who may have already been infected, but there’s not really any good data on the numbers yet.
“We’re in the process of obviously following up with the report that we did in JAMA that kind of let us understand that maybe for the 2 million cases we diagnosed, we had an estimated 20 million people infected,” Redfield said in the video interview.
“We've now expanded that throughout the country, so very large surveillance work in progress,” he said.
Redfield said he didn’t want to speculate on the number of Americans who may actually be infected with the virus, but he did offer an estimate.
“I really want to be data driven but there is enormous geographic variation. I can tell you that we have some areas that we're looking at less than 1% and we have other areas we're looking at 20%,” he said.
“I think if you're going to do a crude estimate, somewhere between 30 and 60 million people -- but let's let the data come out and see what the data shows.”
Confirmed cases: As of Thursday night, at least 5,573,501 coronavirus cases have been recorded across the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. The total includes at least 174,248 deaths.