U.S. Likely Has 'Hundreds Or Low Thousands' Of Unreported Coronavirus Cases, Says Ex-FDA Commissioner

During an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, claimed that the number of coronavirus cases would continue to rise in the U.S. along with testing, The Hill reported.

"Right now, there's probably hundreds or low thousands of cases … that aren't reported yet," he began.

"It's a big country, 330 million people, so anyone's individual risk is still very low but we need to get those cases diagnosed and identified so we can start getting people quarantined and into treatment and prevent more spread. We need to start mitigating the implications of this spread."
In Italy, CNN reported a 50 percent increase in the spread of coronavirus cases on Sunday, which coincided with further restrictions in travel in the United States. According to the United Nations, the increases observed in Italy, Iran, and South Korea are "deeply concerning."

Regardless, the United States appears better equipped to handle the spread of the virus. According to Gottlieb, the U.S. is on track to have the capacity to screen 10,000 people daily by the conclusion of next week. At the end of the following week, he claims this capacity will increase by another 10,000. The bolstered capacity is allegedly due to harnessing the help of academic labs, which Gottlieb calls the "major medical centers."

Gottlieb also recommended that coronavirus diagnostic testing not rely solely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He urged that the response include outreach to manufacturers with "diagnostic capabilities" to begin simultaneously taking advantage of laboratory-developed tests.

As reported by CNN, the first reported U.S. coronavirus death could be one of many cases that stem from an unknown source. According to the publication, the victim was in his 50s and experienced underlying health conditions.

As of now, the publication claims there are 74 "confirmed or presumptive positive" cases in the U.S. While 44 of the infected stem from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three were sent back to China, 27 were reportedly detected in America.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, professor Gabriel Leung, coronavirus expert and dean of the University of Hong Kong's medical faculty, claims that the first U.S. death is just the "tip of the iceberg." According to Leung, the death is concerning as it means there are likely more coronavirus cases that have yet to be confirmed.

Leung expressed his belief that the coronavirus should now be designated a global pandemic. Despite his claim, the World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to do so.