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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday confirmed that it has been combining the results of diagnostic coronavirus tests and coronavirus antibody tests, The Atlantic reports.

Why it matters: Including antibody test results distorts data on the prevalence of the coronavirus and can overstate the ability to safely begin the reopening process.

  • A positive COVID-19 test means a person is currently carrying the coronavirus, while a positive antibody test suggests the individual has been infected in the past.

What they're saying: Harvard professor of global health Ashish Jha told The Atlantic, "Because antibody tests are meant to be used on the general population, not just symptomatic people, they will, in most cases, have a lower percent-positive rate than viral tests."

  • Jha says the CDC's combination of the two tests makes their results "uninterpretable," and that the distortion will "drive down your positive rate in a very dramatic way."

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Updated Aug 9, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the U.S. surpassed 5 million on Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden noted in an emailed statement that 5 million "is more than the entire population of Alabama — or of more than half the states in our union, for that matter," as he blamed President Trump for his handling of the pandemic.

Aug 9, 2020 - Health

Ohio governor urges Americans not to lose faith in testing after false positive

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Americans shouldn't think testing for the coronavirus is "not reliable or doesn't work," after he received a false positive result from an antigen test last week.

Why it matters: DeWine is one of six governors who have agreed to pool their resources, along with the Rockefeller Foundation, in order to acquire 3 million antigen tests amid severe delays and the lack of a national testing strategy.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,092,855 — Total deaths: 736,254 Total recoveries — 12,350,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,094,565 — Total deaths: 163,465 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."