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More than 90 percent of Americans remain susceptible to contracting Covid-19, according to the director of the CDC, making the idea of achieving “herd immunity” in the US all but impossible without massive death.
Robert Redfield’s comments appeared to pour cold water on President Donald Trump’s hopes the country could combat the virus with herd immunity, which experts have said would require anywhere from 60 to 80 of the entire population to contain antibodies for the novel coronavirus.
The CDC director shared preliminary results from an ongoing study that sought to determine the true spread of Covid-19 across the US, which Mr Redfield has previously suggested was likely much higher than the two percent figure that has been reported by Johns Hopkins University and the US Census Bureau.
“The preliminary results in the first round show that a majority of our nation, more than 90% of the population, remains susceptible,” he told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “A majority of Americans are still susceptible.”
Mr Redfield spoke on Wednesday after it was reported that more than 6.8 million people in the US have been infected with the novel virus, and over 200,000 Americans have died due to complications resulting from Covid-19.
Sen. Alexander: “Just so I understand, you’re saying that based on preliminary indications from your serological testing and studies that as many as 90% of Americans still haven’t had the virus yet?”
CDC Director Redfield: “Yes, sir.” pic.twitter.com/52D6kVeLd2
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 23, 2020
This is a breaking story and will be updated.