DR. Scott Gottlieb on Friday offered a dismal assessment of the U.S. coronavirus outbreakThis suggests that the actual number of new infections per day is more than 500,000 – more than four times the current record of Covid-19 cases diagnosed daily.
That record came on Thursday when 121,888 new infections were reported Data from Johns Hopkins University. The day before, the country had seen its daily case count Top 100,000 For the first time ever, part of a trend of record-high daily infections as the country’s epidemic continues to climb into its third peak before the holiday season.
“Remember, 120,000 cases is not 120,000 cases. We are currently diagnosing probably 1 in 5 cases at best, maybe a little less, so that’s at least half a million cases a day, probably more of the actual number of infections,” Gottlieb said on CNBCs “Close the bell.”
Also, according to Gottlieb, a former commissioner for the US Food and Drug Administration under President, the situation is unlikely to improve in the worst-hit states without targeted measures to reduce transmission Donald Trump. “But we’re not doing that right now,” he said. “We are very concerned about the future and I think this will explode in a few weeks.”
“You have to really worry about what January will be like, what December will look like now, considering how this is going to rise,” added Gottlieb.
The worrying indicators go beyond the number of cases, said Gottlieb. Hospital data are worrying, he said. The average number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has increased by at least 5% in 36 states, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the year Covid tracking projectrun by journalists in the Atlantic.
Many of the states reporting record hospital stays are in the American Midwest and West: Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin Wyoming.
In the United States, there are currently more than 53,000 people in hospital with Covid-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project. More than 10,000 people are in intensive care units, said Gottlieb. “That’s a lot and it’s growing very quickly.”
The death rate for Covid-19 patients has improved during the pandemic as doctors and healthcare workers have more experience treating the disease, Gottlieb noted. In addition, more patients would be treated at home than in the early days of the outbreak in the spring.
The challenge the country is currently facing is simply the number of people infected, he said. More infections will ultimately lead to more hospital stays, which at some point will drain health care resources, he said.
“It’s just a fact that even if we lower mortality rates and manage people in the hospital better and … get people discharged easier and faster, we will infect a lot more people, so at some point the healthcare system will come under pressure,” said Gottlieb. He pointed to places where it has already happened, such as Green Bay, Wisconsinwhere a field hospital was set up last month.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when a certain area like New York was experiencing a major crisis in its healthcare system, it was easier to source additional resources from across the country, Gottlieb said. “But when you have a very diffuse spread across the country where we’re going, it’s going to be difficult for the federal government to stop that much.”
There are more than 9.6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, according to Hopkins data. At least 235,761 people have died.