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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Less than 10% of the United States population has coronavirus antibodies, a study published in The Lancet on Friday found.

Why it matters: The findings suggest that the U.S. is far from herd immunity without a vaccine. Herd immunity — wherein widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is one tactic public health experts are hoping could help squash the virus for good.

  • Yes, but: The Trump administration has repeatedly suggested that reopening America's economy could boost herd immunity.
    • Public health officials say a vaccine should remain the priority on the path toward normalcy.

What they're saying: CDC Director Robert Redfield also said Wednesday at a Senate hearing that preliminary data shows more than 90% of Americans remain susceptible to COVID-19.

  • Redfield urged Americans to continue wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and staying home when sick.

Between the lines: There was variance in antibody frequencies depending on location. Areas like New York City and New Jersey, where the virus festered this spring, saw higher rates of antibodies.

  • But more rural areas like Idaho and the Dakotas saw lower antibody rates.
  • Overall, researchers estimate the prevalence to be roughly 9.3%

Methodology: The Stanford University study looked at blood samples from 28,500 dialysis patients in 46 states.

Go deeper

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.