Ohio Health Director Walks Back Wild Estimate of 100,000 Coronavirus Infections in State

AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton is walking back her claim, made last week, that the state has 100,000 people who have the coronavirus.

Screenshot/Johns Hopkins coronavirus website

According to medical experts tracking the virus, there are currently 153,523 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide. 

Confirmed cases in Ohio total 14, with no deaths reported.

“I am not saying there are absolutely for certain 100,000 people, I’m saying I’m guesstimating,” Acton said at a news conference on Friday, according to the Hill.

Acton drew swift reaction on Thursday when she said at a press conference with Gov. Mike DeWine that she estimated there were 100,000 people in Ohio with coronavirus, based on the fact that the virus is spreading in the community.

Acton said at the time:

We know now, just the fact of community spread, says that at least 1 percent, at the very least, 1 percent of our population is carrying this virus in Ohio today. We have 11.7 million people. So the math is over 100,000. So that just gives you a sense of how this virus spreads and is spreading quickly.

The Hill reported on the controversy:

Tara Smith, a professor of public health at Kent State University, said Friday she thinks Acton’s number is “too high,” but said that there could be 1,000 undetected cases in Ohio right now.

On Friday at the press conference, Acton said once there is better data, modelers would go back and see if she was right.

“As modelers far smarter than I am put that together, we’ll look back at this and we’ll see where we were,” Acton said.

As of Saturday, the number of cornovirus cases in the United States numbered 2,571, with 51 deaths recorded. Twelve people who had the virus have recovered.

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