Conference in February could have led to 20,000 COVID-19 infections: Study

A new study suggests that a Boston biotech conference of fewer than 200 people could have led to nearly 20,000 COVID-19 infections in the Boston area.
2:05 | 08/26/20

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Transcript for Conference in February could have led to 20,000 COVID-19 infections: Study
right here on the network. We move on tonight, and to the coronavirus, and the new report which shows just how quickly this can spread and multiply. How one conference in the northeast attended by fewer than 200 people, researchers say then led to an estimated 20,000 cases in the Boston area alone. There's news tonight, also, on potential vaccines and Dr. Anthony Fauci warning against rushing out a vaccine before it's been proven safe and effective. Here's Steve osunsami. Reporter: There were fewer than 200 people who came to this Boston hotel in February for an international biotech conference, but a new study tonight says that this one event may have led to nearly 20,000 covid-19 infections in the Boston area alone. The race for a potential vaccine to end this pandemic is seriously on, with 30 in human trials around the world. But America's leading infectious disease doctor is warning everyone about rolling out any of them out too early, saying that "The one thing you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an eua before you have a signal of efficacy." Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that this could make it more difficult for any of the other efforts to find enough volunteers, like these people, for their clinical trials. I don't want to be sitting down not doing anything. Reporter: Critics believe the fda is being rushed as well, and are pointing to the president. The agency has just given the okay for emergency use of plasma therapy to treat covid-19, and the commissioner is being called out for overselling the potential benefits during this news conference with president trump. The commissioner is apologizing for exaggerating the numbers, but says the agency's move is still a good one. I can assure the American people that this decision was made based upon sound science and data. Reporter: There are now two new reported cases of people who have gotten reinfected with covid-19 within months. Last night, we told you about a case out of Hong Kong. Tonight, two new cases in Europe. One of them is a Belgian woman who first got sick in March and then tested positive again in David? All right, troubling. Thank you, Steve.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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