Theory is gaining traction online in China that Covid-19 came from the USCoronavirus – latest updatesTell us: have you been affected by the coronavirus?One of the most popular topics on the Chinese microblog Weibo on Thursday was a one-minute clip of a US congressional hearing this week on how the country was dealing with the coronavirus.In the video posted by the People’s Daily, Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is asked whether there may have been deaths attributed to influenza that could actually have been the result of Covid-19. Redfield responds in the affirmative: “Some cases have been actually diagnosed that way in the United States today.” Continue reading...
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Coronavirus began spreading in the US in January — predating President Trump's travel restrictions and the detection of community transmission, CDC says
Nearly a month before community spread was first detected, "sustained, community transmission" of the coronavirus in...Nearly a month before community spread was first detected, "sustained, community transmission" of the coronavirus in the United States began in late January or early February, a report from the CDC says. A "single importation" from China was followed by "several importations" from Europe, the study's authors found. "As America begins to reopen, looking back at how COVID-19 made its way to the United States will contribute to a better understanding to prepare for the future," said CDC Director Robert Redfield. Redfield said that the virus circulated at such low levels after being introduced in the US that earlier diagnostic tests would've missed it. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The coronavirus began to spread across the United States in late January or early February and remained undetected for nearly a month, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data indicates that "sustained, community transmission had begun before detection of the first two non travel–related U.S. cases, likely resulting from the importation of a single lineage of virus from China in late January or early February, followed by several importations from Europe," the report says. The study's authors investigated illnesses reported by 4,000 emergency departments, nearly 11,000 respiratory specimens, viral genetic sequences of early cases, and autopsy learnings from three patients in California. They found that community spread of the coronavirus began between January 18 and February 9, the report says, with "cryptic circulation" or undetected transmission underway by early February. As of Saturday, the coronavirus has infected nearly 1.75 million Americans and killed over 102,000, based on data from Johns Hopkins University. However, this CDC report marks the first comprehensive look at the pandemic's origins in the United States, NBC News reported. "As America begins to reopen, looking back at how COVID-19 made its way to the United States will contribute to a better understanding to prepare for the future," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said Friday during a call with reporters, per NBC News. This marked the first CDC briefing since March 9, but CNN has since reported that the group plans to return to a regular cadence of briefings as states reopen and the country moves to another phase in its coronavirus response. 'Like looking for a needle in a haystack' The nation's first COVID-19 case was identified on January 21. The patient had traveled from Wuhan, China — where the disease was originated late last year — to Seattle, Washington, on Jan. 15. Downplaying the threat posed by the illness, President Donald Trump said on January 22 in an interview with CNBC, "We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It's going to be just fine." On January 31, Trump issued an executive order, effective February 2, restricting travel from China to the US. By February 23, "public health agencies detected 14 U.S. cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), all related to travel from China," the CDC wrote. On February 26, California officials announced the first case of community spread in a woman who hadn't traveled internationally or come in contact with others who had been exposed to the virus. The second such case was detected two days later in Washington state And that's around the time when the virus began to make its way from Europe into the US, Redfield said, adding, "The findings do show that in late February, early March, there were several importations of the virus from Europe to California and northeastern United States and possibly elsewhere." Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC, said that it doesn't appear that the virus had reached the US as far back as November or December. "We looked for evidence of early widespread transmission and could not confirm it," he said during the media briefing, NBC News reported. Meanwhile, Redfield said that the delayed rollout of coronavirus testing — caused by contamination in a CDC laboratory complex — didn't impact the US coronavirus response because the virus was circulating at low levels at the start of the outbreak, NPR reported. So diagnostic tests would've made little difference. "It really would be like looking for a needle in a haystack," he said.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
Mike Pompeo says there's 'enormous evidence' COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab even though intelligence officials have said there's none
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said there was "enormous evidence" that COVID-19 originated in...Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said there was "enormous evidence" that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab. The president has made similar remarks, claiming on Thursday that he had seen evidence to support the theory, but could not share any of the details of his knowledge. US intelligence officials and experts have said there's no evidence to prove such theories, according to The Washington Post. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday claimed there was "enormous evidence" that COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, though there has been so far no public evidence to support such a theory. "There's enormous evidence that that's where this began," Pompeo told ABC News' Martha Raddatz during his appearance on "This Week." "We have said from the beginning, this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset." "But I think the whole world can see now," Pompeo added. "Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running sub-standard laboratories. These aren't the first times that we have had the world exposed to viruses as a result of failures from a Chinese lab." Jonna Mazet, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Davis, who has worked with and trained Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers in the past, told Business Insider's Aylin Woodward that an accidental lab leak is extremely unlikely. The WIV houses China's only Biosafety-level-4 laboratory, and Mazet said that instead of an accident at the high-security lab, it's far more likely that the virus spilled over naturally from bats, jumping to humans via an intermediary animal host. Trump and his allies have pushed blame towards China since pandemic hit the US Pompeo is not the first US official to make such a claim. At a White House press briefing on Thursday, President Donald Trump said the US was investigating the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has studied coronaviruses that originate in bats. At that news conference, a reporter asked Trump whether he'd seen evidence that gave him a "high degree of confidence" to suggest the virus had originated in a Chinese lab. "Yes I have," Trump said, adding he was "not allowed to tell" anyone about the intelligence. Trump previously floated a similar theory on April 19, promising "consequences" if China was found to have created the novel coronavirus. Pompeo told Raddatz Sunday "the Chinese communist party has refused to cooperate with world health experts" and he could not answer whether he believed the theory that the virus was intentionally released by the Chinese government or whether he believed it to be mistakenly released during a lab accident. The president and other members of his party have continued to attempt to shift blame toward China for the virus's impact on the US, where it has so far killed at least 66,430 and infected some 1,134,673, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. US intelligence officials said there is no such evidence that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab, according to reports from the Washington Post and New York Times. Experts told the Post that while a lab accident is possible, it's not entirely likely. One US official who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity said officials have been briefed that China could have initially downplayed the outbreak, but they had not seen evidence that COVID-19 was the result of accidental transmission in a Chinese lab. "It's far more likely that Mother Nature is just a step ahead of us and has created a novel pathogen, now able to move quite effectively from human to human," Jason Rao, a bio-security specialist and former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama, told the Post.Join the conversation about this story »
More than 232,000 could have been infected in first wave, compared with then-official total of 55,000,...More than 232,000 could have been infected in first wave, compared with then-official total of 55,000, as US envoy calls for rethink of US-China relationshipCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 232,000 people might have been infected in the first wave of Covid-19 in mainland China, four times the official figures, according to a study by Hong Kong researchers. Related: 'I'd love everything open': Las Vegas mayor's coronavirus interview sparks ire Continue reading...