The number of cases of the CCP virus in the United States will “dramatically increase” over the next four to five days as officials work through a “backlog” of test results, the White House coronavirus response director warned on March 18.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
As the U.S. ramps up its testing capacity this week with the help of private laboratories, the number of Americans diagnosed with the CCP virus in the coming days will surge, Dr. Deborah Birx said at a briefing by the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Wednesday.
Birx, who is the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said the numbers across the United States will jump because testing platforms are now able to run “tens of thousands” of tests per day, compared to testing platforms used by health officials previously that could only run between 4 and 12 tests per platform per day.
“There was a backlog,” Birx explained. “There were individuals that had been tested, who hadn’t had their specimen run because of the slow throughput. It’s now on a high-speed platform, so we will see the number of people diagnosed dramatically increase over the next four to five days.”
“I know some of you will use that to raise an alarm that we are worse than Italy, because of our slope of our curve,” Birx told reporters, explaining that five to six days worth of tests for the CCP virus will be run in the time frame of 24 to 48 hours with the new testing platforms.
“Our curves will not be stable until some time next week,” Birx added.
As of Wednesday, the United States had more than 9,300 cases of COVID-19, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll grew to almost 150 across all 50 states.
Birx also urged Americans, particularly the younger generation, to heed government advice and avoid large gatherings due to “concerning reports” emerging from France and Italy about young people falling “seriously ill in ICUs.”
“We need [millennials] to be healthy,” she continued. “I’m not only calling on you to heed what’s in the guidance, but to make sure that each and every one of you are protecting each other.”
Millennials, Birx said, must not continue to have “these large gatherings that continue to occur throughout the country for people who are off work to then be socializing in large groups and spreading the virus.”
“You have the potential, then, to spread it to someone who does have a condition that none of us knew about and cause them to have a disastrous outcome,” Birx added.
This week, drive-through coronavirus testing sites started to spring up across multiple states, with the ability to test between 2,000 to 4,000 individuals daily.
Many Americans on Wednesday with suspected virus infections made their way to drive-through testing sites at hospitals with their doctor’s referral, where they were met by healthcare workers in protective gear, swabbing their noses through an open window.
The goal is to ramp up testing, the lack of which has been a major obstacle to understanding the extent of the pandemic, reduce pressure on emergency rooms, and keep patients in cars to avoid spreading the infection.
Leading U.S. retailers such as Walmart Inc., Target Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and CVS Health Corp pledged at a White House news conference last Friday to provide space for the drive-through sites in their parking lots.
President Donald Trump told reporters at the press conference that researchers were also examining how effective “self-swab” tests could be for the CCP virus, adding that they could be less invasive than initial testing methods.
Reuters contributed to this report.