Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
China Daily Global / 2020-05 / 22 / Page007

Patients' claims cast doubt on true timeline of outbreak in US

By HAN BAOYI in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-05-22 00:00

Discussions on the internet have aroused curiosity about the true timeline of how the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is spreading in the United States, as the country has the world's most cases and some citizens have said that they believed that they contracted the virus last year.

Michael Melham, the mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, said that he has tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and believes he contracted the virus in November, over two months before the first reported case in the US on Jan 20.

"I stand up to say that I was sick in November. I met all of the criteria. I have a positive antibody test, and I am certainly not alone in my assertion that I was sick in November. There are many, many other people," he said in early May in a video interview with China Global Television Network.

This is not the first time that the timeline has been challenged. While the first reported COVID-19 fatality in the US was in Seattle on February 29, an autopsy on a person in California who died on Feb 6 has revealed that the first US coronavirus-related death came weeks earlier.

"The Medical Examiner-Coroner performed autopsies on two individuals who died at home on February 6, 2020 and February 17, 2020... Today, the Medical Examiner-Coroner received confirmation from the CDC that tissue samples from both cases are positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19," Santa Clara County said in a statement on April 21.

Jeffrey V. Smith, the county executive and a medical doctor, said recently that the virus may have arrived on US shores as early as December, several media reported.

At that time, many US citizens were suffering from a reported flu which had killed more than a thousand people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said during a House Oversight Committee meeting on March 11 that some US citizens who seemingly died from influenza tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the posthumous diagnosis.

"Some cases have actually been diagnosed that way in the United States today," he said.

Earlier last year, a mysterious lung illness being linked with vaping by US health authorities had appeared in the country, and its symptoms were described as cough, fever and respiratory failure, which are similar to those of COVID-19.

In addition to that, EMCrit, an information website released chest images of CT scans of vaping patients showing "bilateral ground-glass opacities", which is known to be one of the typical symptoms and diagnostic evidence of COVID-19.

The vaping outbreak began in the summer last year and continued into spring. It caused 68 deaths and more than 2,800 cases across 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two US territories, according to the latest CDC update.

"What if all those vaping deaths last November were actually coronavirus?" a Twitter user named F. Thot Bitchgerald asked in a post on May 9.


Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349