Joel Achenbach, Joel, National Institutes Of Health discussed on News and Perspective with Taylor Van Cise
News center. Hundreds of New Yorkers learning they got expired doses of Pfizer vaccine, the city's health department confirming that almost 900 people got expired. Covid 19 shots at pop up sites around Times Square, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's listening and hopeful about ongoing Bipartisan talks on infrastructure. The Kentucky Republicans, saying that he's anticipating that Senate Democrats will use budget reconciliation, which would mean they only need a simple majority to pass a bill on areas where they don't agree. Just when did the coronavirus entered the United States? Up to now? The first confirmed patient and first major outbreaks were confirmed right here in Washington state back in January of 2020, But it's Joel Achenbach reports in The Washington Post. A new study from the National Institutes of Health found evidence that the virus may have been in the U. S as early as December of 2019 and Joel joins me on the KOMO news line. Good afternoon. Hey, Thanks for having me. What exactly did this NIH study find? Well, it's a really interesting thing. They they have this program called All of us in which volunteers give blood samples and you know, And do they allow themselves to be studied? They have several 100,000 people signed up for this thing. As a way of advancing precision medicine, which is kind of their customized medicine just for a single person, rather than the kind of one size fits all medicine that they typically do. In any case, they looked at these old blood samples from early last year, and they found nine people who had signs antibodies to the coronavirus. In that first couple months of the year, and the first one was January. 7th. It was an Illinois a person in Illinois on January 7th 2020, and they think sort of did. It probably took a couple weeks for the antibodies to form. And so they're saying, you know, maybe, um, around Christmas Eve 2019. You could have had someone in Illinois, you know, with the infection from the coronavirus. Any indication at this point, whether it's from that person in Illinois or any of the other folks with those antibodies that they were traveling, or maybe cut it through community spread. Well, that's exactly the right question. You know, it could be that someone had been in Wuhan in China and had flown back to the United States, and that's what they're picking up, and it's very unlikely that that early you have community spread, but they don't know that I'm trying to do a follow up to see if they can. Nail that down, you know, try to get some travel history from these nine people. Um, and it's also possible to some of them are false positives. In fact, it's likely that maybe even one or two is a false positive of those nine. What's interesting, though, is it They don't think it's statistically likely at all that they're all false positives. And it kind of confirms what we've known, which is that the virus was here and possibly spreading earlier, Suzanne, then we officially knew that we documented you know we had some problems with testing. The CDC had sort of limits on who should get tested because because there just wasn't much capacity to test then and it's likely that there was more virus, Uh, circulating or present in the US In January and February before we really saw the big outbreaks in March. I was really interested, though, to see from your report that none of those positive results of those those blood samples from the NIH came from Washington state where the outbreak started. That's correct. Now, keep in mind what they looked at. I think 24,000 blood samples From across the country. And yet none of them came from. Uh, one of them came from those coastal states. It doesn't mean it wasn't there. It just means that you know, they they're probably wasn't very much and you know, this is a very Um, spotty survey of blood samples so you could have had you know the coronavirus and you know it was in Washington state because it was detected there. Uh, this is a pretty, you know, it's not a very finally meshed net that they threw. These are just you know some blood samples from across the country really interesting study and worth reading about online at Washington post dot com. Joel Achenbach, the reporter on that piece, Joel. Thank you. Hey, Thanks.