March 22, 2020 / By Allan Smith
Top U.S. health officials are “looking very closely” at reports that a much higher percentage of younger Americans than expected need hospitalization as a result of contracting the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday.
Fauci was responding to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which, after studying more than 4,000 cases in the U.S., showed that about 40 percent of those who were hospitalized for the virus as of March 16 were ages 20 to 54. Among the most critical cases, 12 percent of intensive care admissions were among those ages 20 to 44, while 36 percent were for those 45 to 64.
About 80 percent of people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19 were 65 and over, with the highest percentage among those over 85.
Asked about the new numbers on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Fauci said they highlighted “a very important critical issue that we’re looking very closely at.”
“It looks like there is a big difference between that demography from China and what we’re seeing in Europe,” Fauci said. Data based on China’s outbreak suggested that older people were more at risk.