Tens of thousands of cases of coronavirus have been reported on in the United States — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to a group of infectious disease experts, the true totals are much, much higher.
Tracking sites, such as the New York Times and Johns Hopkins University, have provided Americans with a glimpse of what’s happening, in real-time, with regard to COVID-19’s spread across the country. According to the latter’s numbers, more than 75,000 had contracted coronavirus within the U.S., as of 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday.
But a survey of experts believes that number is just one-fifth of the actual total number of cases in the nation.
According to a survey compiled by Thomas McAndrew and Nicholas Reich at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the aggregate belief of 20 infectious disease experts across the country says that there may be more than 360,000 Americans who have been infected. Some of that number may include asymptomatic Americans, but also includes those who are showing symptoms but haven’t been properly diagnosed, as well as those who are not being counted among the totals for a number of other reasons.
There were more troubling insights from the survey’s findings, including the fact that 54 percent of the experts believe that coronavirus hospitalizations will peak sometime in April or May, while 41 percent say they will peak between June and August.
Biostatistician Nick Reich and postdoc Thomas McAndrew are two of an exclusive group of infectious disease experts the world is looking to to determine how COVID-19 will spread. They recently shared their thoughts in @RollingStone. https://t.co/rSG1XZouxc
— UMass Amherst SPHHS (@UMassSPHHS) March 23, 2020
Additionally, the total number of deaths resulting from the virus is projected to be hundreds of times higher than what is being reported right now, according to 4-in-5 experts’ opinions, by the end of the year. Forty-two percent of the experts surveyed think 300,000 or more Americans will die from coronavirus, while another 40 percent believe between 100,000 and 300,000 will perish from the disease by the time we reach New Year’s Day 2021.
Part of the issue behind having such a significant difference between the recorded number of coronavirus cases and the projected one being made by these experts is the fact that there’s been a rationing out of testing kits in the country due to a shortage of them.
These projections come less than a month after President Donald Trump predicted that the number of cases would be nonexistent within a matter of days in late February.
“When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done,” Trump said at the time.