U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has claimed that the country can’t ‘operate out of hysteria’ and that there isn’t enough emphasis being placed on recoveries being made from coronavirus.
Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told Fox News Thursday that ’98 percent’ of coronavirus cases recover despite health experts warning that it is impossible to currently fix an accurate recovery rate on the virus.
He added that the U.S. couldn’t continue to destroy its ‘economic infrastructure’, stating that more lives would be lost from the hit to the economy than from coronavirus if America could not begin to open back up its businesses.
As of Thursday evening, there were 469,450 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 16,715 deaths, as the country’s fatality rate increased slightly to 3.6 percent.
25,974 people have recovered in the U.S. so far.
Housing Secretary Ben Carson claimed that the recovery rate from coronavirus is 98 percent but health experts have said it is too early to accurately measure and may be at 80 percent
Dr. Carson claimed that a continued destruction of the country’s economy through business closures could lead to more U.S. deaths.
‘If we destroy the economic infrastructure of this country we’ll lose a lot more people than we did with the virus,’ Carson said.
‘When we see that bell-shaped curve — and we’ve seen it come down rather steeply in some other countries — when that happens [and] we haven’t seen it go back up, that’s what we are looking for here,’ he said.
‘That already seems to be starting.
He added that the task force was watching all the data to ensure that the move to open the economy back up wasn’t taken too early.
‘Obviously, we don’t want to [resume economic activity] too early. We will wait for a couple of weeks and see if that continues down and then we also need to make sure that we have appropriate testing.
‘We have to be able to test people to see if they have the antibodies which will make them much safer in terms of returning to the workforce. And then we have to return them in a logical way. That’s the key.’
White House coronavirus task force member Ben Carson appeared on Fox New on Thursday to discuss when the country may lift its shutdown
He then claimed that not enough attention was being given to ”the number of people who have recovered’ and that ’98 percent’ could expect to come through the virus.
‘You probably do know someone that has it, you may have it, who knows?’ Carson told Fox host Martha MacCallum Thursday.
‘But people have been terrified because we’ve talked about the bad.’
He added that between 25 percent and 50 percent of people are asymptomaic, a figure that has also been pushed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a fellow member of the White House coronavirus task force.
‘We can’t operate out of hysteria,’ Carson said.
‘When people are hysterical they don’t do logical things.’
The Housing Secretary’s recovery claims come as health experts continue to warn that they are not yet able to evaluate the recovery rate for coronavirus because many people are asymptomatic and do not know that they are carriers.
Amid the current pandemic, even those who are showing symptoms can not always be tested leaving greater numbers still who could be infected.
The lack of widespread testing has meant that the true number of people infected is not reflected the official confirmed case tallies and so those who recover from the virus is also not being truly reflected.
Until a time when every person infected with coronavirus can be diagnosed, an accurate recovery rate cannot be measured.
As many of these cases are going unnoticed, however, it spells good news for a high recovery rate.
According to Dr. Mike Tildesley, associate professor in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick, the recovery rate for coronavirus is estimated to be around 80 percent, not 98 percent as Carson claimed.
This means that for ever four people who recover from the virus, one person will die.
‘However, these figures should be taken with extreme caution,’ Tildesley told Newsweek, as ‘only a fraction of individuals are tested for infection.’
‘It is still unknown how many people will have had mild infection or no symptoms at all and have recovered. If this number is large, then that means that the recovery rate will be significantly higher than 80 percent.’
For now, Dr. Carson urged that the public continues to keep to social distancing guidelines stating that coronavirus is ‘very, very contagious’.
‘It could be sometimes we overreact to things but what’s important is we sit down and try to analyse it logically’, he said.
‘That we try and get the best data and use that to make recommendations.’
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose to 469,450 on Thursday night with 16,715 deaths.
There were 1,842 new deaths recorded nationally.
President Donald Trump predicted on Thursday that deaths from the coronavirus in the United States will be much lower than 100,000 as he predicted the economy was on track to reopen.
‘You are looking at a much lower level than the level of, I hope the level of 100,000,’ he said at the daily White House briefing on Thursday.
‘I think our country from an economic standpoint, we have tremendous stimulus plans. I think what’s going to happen, we will have a big bounce rather than a small bounce,’ the president said.
‘And we will have succeeded in many ways. And, also from an economic standpoint, this is taking a tremendous toll mentally on a lot of people. I think we are going to open up strong, open up very successfully, and even more successfully than before.’