Coronavirus-attributed deaths in the United States number 3,170 as of this posting, exceeding the number of Americans who were killed on 9/11.
Mother Jones reports: “The virus’s death toll in the US hit more than 3,100 on March 30, exceeding the 2,977 victims who were killed in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and four hijacked planes on September 11. While the virus is incomparable in many ways to the sudden deaths on American soil in a terrorist attack, its slow-moving toll on civilian lives promises to upend American society in peacetime as only terror has done. And while the death toll surpassed 3,000 today, the number of confirmed cases is still rising rapidly, meaning many more people will likely die from COVID-19 in the weeks and months ahead.”
NPR spoke in a rare interview with the CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, who warned that the virus would be with us for a while, and offered some new insight about what they have learned about the virus.
Redfield said the CDC has determined a few things about contagion: “One of the [pieces of] information that we have pretty much confirmed now is that a significant number of individuals that are infected actually remain asymptomatic. That may be as many as 25%. That’s important, because now you have individuals that may not have any symptoms that can contribute to transmission, and we have learned that in fact they do contribute to transmission. And finally, of those of us that get symptomatic, it appears that we’re shedding significant virus in our oropharyngeal compartment, probably up to 48 hours before we show symptoms.”
Added Redfield: “Most respiratory viruses have a seasonality to them, and it’s reasonable to hypothesize — we’ll have to wait and see — but I think many of us believe as we’re moving into the late spring, early summer season, you’re going to see the transmission decrease, similar to what we see with flu as the virus then moves into the Southern Hemisphere. We will then have a period of time to continue to work on countermeasures.”
Redfield also said the CDC was “really close” to having a public tracking system of every single test result in the country: “I mean, we get daily reports from all of the testings coming in. Obviously, FEMA is the data coordinating center, but I think really strong, integrated data is currently occurring down at the county level, where we’re getting positive tests, and where we’re seeing new clusters, and where we are responding.”
Listen to the full interview and read transcript here: