Both indicators that track COVID-19-like illness and the percentage of laboratory tests that are positive for SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — have decreased nationally since mid-July, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1
It appears the curve has effectively been flattened, with indicators that track COVID-19-like illness decreasing in all regions the week ending August 15, 2020, and the percentage of positive laboratory tests for SARS-CoV-2 decreasing or remaining the same in nine out of 10 regions. Hospitalization rates and mortality attributed to COVID-19 also declined during the same period.2
Meanwhile, the initial virus panic involved the invocation of the Federal Defense Production Act, which included directing $3 billion to companies like General Electric, Philips and Ford to manufacture tens of thousands of ventilators.3 Now, those ventilators are sitting unused.
Ventilator Glut Highlights Misled Virus Response
"The U.S. has too many ventilators," The Washington Post wrote on August 18, 20204 — an about-face from media headlines posted just months earlier, which talked of ventilator shortages and a "desperate need for ventilators."5,6