CDC study finds coronavirus infections could be much higher than reported in some cities, states

A study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released on Tuesday claimed coronavirus cases may have been heavily underreported across the country, due to the number of patients who remained asymptomatic or did not require medical treatment.

One finding of the study said New York City reported over 53,800 cases of COVID-19 by April 1, but blood samples showed a number closer to 642,000, which the CDC noted is nearly 12 times higher.

The data is based on 2,482 blood samples taken from residents living in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Kings County and Nassau County, according to the agency’s website.

The CDC, however, has been at odds with the White House over the nation’s coronavirus response and has become a frequent target of President Trump.

News of the study comes less than a week after it was announced that coronavirus data from U.S. hospitals would be sent to the Trump administration via the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), before going to the CDC.

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Hospitals were told to bypass the CDC and send daily patient information directly to a central database operated by the HHS in Washington, D.C.

Michael R. Caputo, a Health and Human Services spokesman, told the New York Times, which first reported the shift, that “the new, faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.”

On Friday, House Democrats overseeing the coronavirus response sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, asking for the decision to be reversed — and it ultimately was, with the data being restored to the CDC’s dashboard online.

Trump commented on the status of the outbreak on Tuesday and said things will likely get worse before they get better, but also touted hope for a vaccine that he claimed could help turn the tide for good.

“It will get worse before it gets better,” he said.“That’s something I don’t like saying but it is… As one family, we mourn every precious life that’s been lost. I pledge in their honor that we will develop a vaccine and we will defeat the virus.”

As of Tuesday evening, there were than 3.8 million infections and over 141,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States.

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Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report