US won't shut down amid possible 2nd wave, Trump says; 35% of COVID-19 patients asymptomatic — 5 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,577,758 COVID-19 cases and 94,729 related deaths as of 9:30 a.m. CDT May 22. Globally, there have been 5,128,492 reported cases and 333,489 deaths, while 1,966,135 people have recovered.

Five updates:

1. The U.S will not shut down again if there's a second COVID-19 wave, President Donald Trump said May 21, according to The Washington Post. "We're not going to close the country. We're going to put out the fires," President Trump said. The remarks follow an analysis from researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that predicts Southern states may see another wave of COVID-19 infections in the next month.

2. The CDC and four states have been combining viral and antibody results, skewing COVID-19 data and potentially overstating the nation's ability to test for the illness. The agency confirmed to The Atlantic May 20 that it is mixing results. Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia and Vermont also were compiling data the same way. Virginia and Maine recently separated their data. Vermont authorities said they weren't aware they were mixing data. On May 19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott denied that the state was blending results, but the Dallas Observer reported it is still doing so.

"If you put the two tests together, you fool yourself into thinking you've done more testing than you have," said Elizabeth Cohen, CNN's senior medical reporter. 

The CDC hopes to separate the viral and antibody test results in the coming weeks, agency spokesperson Kristen Nordlund told The Atlantic. 

3. About 35 percent of COVID-19 patients do not show symptoms, the CDC estimates in a new guidance that outlines five pandemic planning scenarios, according to CNN. The scenarios are designed to inform decisions by mathematical modelers and public health officials. 

In its "best estimate" the CDC states 40 percent of coronavirus transmission is happening before people start to feel sick, and 0.4 percent of those who contract COVID-19 and show symptoms will die.

4. The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority gave more than $1 billion to British drugmaker AstraZeneca to support development and access to its COVID-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca has partnered with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom to produce the drug, which is being tested in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials involving more than 1,000 volunteers in southern England.

5. India and Russia have reported record-high new coronavirus cases and deaths in the last day, according to ABC News. India recorded 6,088 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, its largest single-day jump in new cases, while Russia reported 8,894 new cases of COVID-19 and 150 fatalities in the same time period. Russia's previous death toll record was 135 deaths in one day.

Italy also saw a spike in coronavirus deaths — 156 recorded in the last 24 hours. The daily caseload was also up after dropping below 100 May 18. 


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