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Scott Gottlieb, the Trump administration's former FDA commissioner, told CNBC Wednesday that the United States is likely only diagnosing one in 10 new coronavirus infections and that between 400,000 and 500,000 Americans may be contracting the virus every day.

Why it matters: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in June that the country's total number of infections may be closer to more than 23 million — or around 10x the 2.3 million confirmed cases at the time.

  • The agencies arrived at that figure after analyzing blood samples from around the country for coronavirus antibodies.

What he's saying: "The reality is we have well more than 100,000 infections a day and more than 100,000 cases a day right now," Gottlieb said. "We're probably diagnosing maybe one in 10 infections nationally ... in these epidemic states where they're falling behind on testing."

  • "So the 40,000–50,000 infections that we're diagnosing each day right now really represents 400,000–500,000 infections. Now, those are infections. They're not all cases, because not all those people are symptomatic. But probably 200,000–300,000 of them are symptomatic — perhaps mildly symptomatic."
  • "Now, whether or not we can diagnose 100,000 cases a day — actually get them tested and confirmed on PCR tests — that's unclear. Because the problem is that even though we have a lot of testing in the country — we have well more than 500,000 tests a day and that's going to continue to grow — we're going to be short on tests in places where there's epidemics."

The big picture: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday he would not be surprised if the country begins reporting as many as 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.

  • The U.S. currently reports around 40,000 new cases daily, but Fauci warned that that number will rise rapidly "if this does not turn around."

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases skyrocketing among communities of color

Go deeper

Oct 9, 2020 - World

Europe's coronavirus case counts just keep climbing

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Europe is now recording far more new coronavirus cases than ever before.

The big picture: One reason is testing. Deaths and hospitalizations remain far below the levels seen in the spring, though they continue to tick upward.

D.C. urges Rose Garden ceremony attendees to get tested for COVID-19

Staff and visitors during a ceremony to announce Barrett as Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington, D.C. Department of Health on Thursday asked attendees and White House staff at the Rose Garden celebration for the introduction of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26 to seek medical advice and get tested for COVID-19 by their local health department.

Why it matters: The outbreak tied to the White House contributed to an increase in the District's caseload. D.C. experienced a 26% increase last week, rising from some 40 new cases per day to about 50.

Washington's big contact tracing problem

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The D.C. Health Department is trying to jump-start contact tracing efforts around the White House's coronavirus outbreak. Tracing has been inadequate so far even as cases spread deeper into the city.

The big picture: The White House has decided not to move forward with recommended public health protocols of contact tracing and testing since President Trump tested positive for the virus.