Pandemic will be controlled in 6 months, most Americans predict; CDC shares data on healthcare worker infections — 5 COVID-19 updates

More than 6 million people in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19 as of Sept. 1, with the nation reporting an average of 41,492 cases daily over the past week, according to The New York Times. 

Five updates:

1. Many healthcare worker COVID-19 infections may go undetected, according to new CDC data. The agency examined data on 3,248 front-line healthcare employees at 13 academic medical centers nationwide who underwent antibody testing from April 3 to June 19. Six percent of staff tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. Of these individuals, 29 percent had never experienced symptoms, 44 percent did not believe they previously had the virus and 69 percent had never been diagnosed.

2. Fifty-seven percent of Americans are very or somewhat hopeful that the U.S. can get COVID-19 under control in the next six months, according to the latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index. The latest version of the weekly poll includes responses from 1,100 adults collected between Aug. 28-31. 

3. Dozens of scientists worldwide are taking vaccine development into their own hands and giving themselves, their family or friends experimental doses, reports The New York Times. Proponents of the DIY vaccine efforts say there is room to learn from the scientists, as long as they take a measured approach and are transparent about the development process. Opponents say insights from these efforts will be limited, since the vaccines are not being tested under randomized, controlled clinical trials. Some also expressed concerns about potential side effects of the vaccines or the fact that they might offer people a false sense of protection against COVID-19. 

4. AstraZeneca's experimental vaccine has entered phase 3 of clinical trials, the third COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. to do so, CNN reports. The vaccine, developed with Oxford University in England, has the backing of the U.S. federal government. Contenders Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTec also have government funding and are amid phase 3 trials.

5. Senior White House officials privately warned states about COVID-19 spikes but publicly downplayed the threat, according to findings released Aug. 31 by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The subcommittee investigation found eight weeks of private White House coronavirus task force reports that contradict the administration's public statements. "The task force reports released today show the White House has known since June that coronavirus cases were surging across the country and many states were becoming dangerous 'red zones' where the virus was spreading fast," said Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., chair of the subcommittee, while also urging the White House to implement a national plan to manage the crisis. Additionally, the investigation found multiple states, including Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Oklahoma, have failed to comply with several task force recommendations.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 6,031,424
Deaths: 183,602
Recovered: 2,184,825

Counts reflect data available as of 8:50 a.m. CDT Sept. 1.

More articles on public health:
Positive COVID-19 tests rise in 2 regions: 4 CDC updates
22 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Sept. 1
US to revive research program for emerging diseases


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