How The U.S. Fell Dangerously Behind In Coronavirus Testing

The global coronavirus pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks. Daily life has screeched to a halt and people in entire countries and in some US states have been ordered to stay inside their homes. The outbreak that was first reported in central China in December 2019 has now traveled around the world, infecting and killing people throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe and eventually landing on American shores. The first u.s. case was confirmed in late January 2020 in Washington State and the virus has since spread to every state in the country infecting thousands and devastating local businesses. Along with the national economy. On March 11th, 2020, a congressional doctor told Capitol Hill staffers that up to 150 million Americans could contract covet 19. The disease caused by coronavirus scientists, doctors and public health officials at every level of government have been working overtime to slow the epidemic and keep people safe. But there’s one critical piece of the containment puzzle that has been seriously lacking testing. It seems almost inconceivable that the United States would have a shortage of tests. We always talk about how our health care system is the best in the world. The country’s top doctor himself told Congress. The American system had failed, it is a family, let’s admit it, between a lack of supply and a maze of bureaucratic red tape. The United States, the biggest economy in the world, found itself trying to combat a contagious and deadly epidemic without enough tools to determine who is and isn’t sick, and this testing shortage has caused widespread confusion throughout an already fearful American public anybody right now and yesterday. Anybody that needs it gets a test suite they’re there. They have the test just Providence, st

Joseph’S Health have enough tests or enough testing capability at this point to test all those people you just mentioned. No yeah yeah testing is a critical tool to understand the true scope of the spread of the virus. We cannot stop this pandemic. If we don’t know who is infected, robust testing is particularly essential after early cases are confirmed in order to identify and trace potential points of contact and tamp down on the outbreak. So you have an index case. You’D want to know everyone that was around that individual to see how many of them actually got sick, because that tells you an awful lot about what happened. Dr. Hawkman runs Providence, st

Joseph’S Health, the hospital system that treated the first positive kovat 19 case in the u.s. in Washington state information that you get from. That tells you a lot about, doesn’t spread how sick the people get and is that incidental contact? Is there something different about different individuals that seemed to spread the virus more? They shared virus more readily than others, where, literally weeks and months behind, where we should be, the woman 19 test uses fairly straightforward testing procedure. Its called PCR or polymerase chain reaction and it’s actually a pretty basic testing technology. So, why the bottleneck in the US a few reasons: the first red tape at the beginning of the u.s. outbreak, the CDC sent out test kits to public labs around the country. These were the only tests that were authorized by the FDA to test for kovat 19, but there were a few problems. The biggest one. The tests were faulty the CDC developed a test the same way it does for every pandemic situation. The same way, it did for h1n1 the same way it did for the Zika epidemic. Typically, that system works really well. Something went wrong when the CDC delivered those tests for verification at the public health labs. Some of them were returning inconclusive results, and so the CDC had to scramble and send out new kits or figure out a workaround. They did that, but it led to delays another issue. Those tests were only sent to public health labs, leaving many other types of labs. Back collabs clinical labs, commercial labs without any approved, kits and unable to jump in and help meet, testing demand and one of the things was we, you know as a clinical lab, we couldn’t obtain the CDC test. It was, you know, really squarely for the public health arena, so you know we couldn’t really qualify to get be able to receive it, and so that was that was what it was, and also for many weeks the CDC issued extremely strict parameters determining who was eligible To receive one of the few available working tests, these guidelines dictated that a test could only be administered to patients who had a fever were symptomatic with either a cough or shortness of breath and had either recently traveled from China or had close contact with a known Kovat 19 patient or someone who’s currently being tested. One of the frustrating things was you had to have the unknown contact of someone who had kovat 19:00. We weren’t testing for kovat 19, so that link criteria. Like really didn’t you never really trip the wire there at the very end of February 2020, two things happened: the first, the FDA, granted emergency use authorization to a lot of other labs, the ones that had been excluded from receiving that original CDC test. So, labs, like the biology lab at the University of Washington, the one that’s located right in the epicenter of the Seattle outbreak that clinical lab that had been stuck on the sidelines was finally able to authorize its own kovat 19 tests and start testing people and the Second, the CDC relaxed those stricter rules about who could and couldn’t be tested, but even though those eligibility requirements had been removed, it’s still super unclear even today who can get a test and who can’t to get tested. It really is a local policy decision. Different medical systems have different policies. The CDC policy, the federal policy now is, if your doctor wants to test you for it, the doctor can test you for it. The confusion surrounding these decentralized testing requirements is compounded by the fact that testing only started ramping up in this big way about six weeks after the first confirmed case in the United States and throughout that time, daily life in the US was pretty much business. As usual, people were working at offices together, traveling through airports and socializing and restaurants. I do think that this virus has been circulating now for several weeks in the US, and even though the u.s

Is now continuously trying to add testing capacity, the country’s healthcare system is running into another problem. Its running short of basic supplies needed to conduct the Cova 19 tests. Health officials and multiple states are running low on things like swabs, pipettes and reagents. Those are the chemical materials mixed with a patient sample during the testing process and even though test makers like Roche are supplying hundreds of thousands of tests to laps around the country, the demand is just overwhelming. The entire world is sort of on fire from a demand standpoint. Right, like Italy, wants tests. Germany wants tests, the UK wants tests, France wants tests, China wants tests, India wants tests, you know Latin America wants tests and then there’s South Korea. The country made headlines in February 2024. It’S Swift and aggressive measures to test as many people as possible. The Koreans had bad memories of the outbreak in 2015. That’S Middle East respiratory syndrome and they didn’t want history to repeat itself during that epidemic. South Korea reported the largest number of MERS cases outside of the Middle East. They they had a mini, a mini-crisis in 2015 when they had the MERS coronavirus sort of fly in from Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, and it really caused them to invest in preparedness. So, when the corona virus epidemic hit, the Koreans acted quickly. According to a Reuters investigation, the Koreans urged medical company executives to design their own tests just days after the first case was discovered. South Korea then quickly approved these tests, rapidly ramped up capacity to test thousands of people per day and even set up drive-through testing facilities. I think they’d listen to their scientists and it got in front of it. They said we’re gon na get ready if it’s happening in Wuhan, it’s gon na happen in Seoul, so they really from the public health standpoint did exactly what they should do in comparison. The United States had those rigid restrictions in place for weeks about which tests were authorized and who could be tested. America’S top health officials acknowledged they had fallen behind the testing prowess of other countries like South Korea. The idea of anybody getting it the way people in another country are doing it. We’re not setting up for that. Do. I think we should be yes, what we’re not the u.s

Has since set up those drive-through testing sites in several states, but they resemble the confusing patchwork of rules and regulations of the entire American testing effort, depending on the state or municipality in which the drive-through is located. The requirements for testing are different. Some require a doctor’s note to receive a test and others do not almost all have extremely long lines of people waiting in their cars. The drive-through stuff kind of it makes for good TV, but it’s not going to get us there. So we’re trying to say is that the usual places where people get their care are probably better places for people to be tested and be able to get the information that they need. On March 16th 2020, the w-h-o said that it had one message for every country on Earth test test test, but the u.s. is still playing catch-up after falling so far behind and in the meantime, people who are worried that they are sick still can’t get tested. Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst has one of those stories on March 11th. He started tweeting that he was experiencing kovat 19 symptoms, but he couldn’t fight a healthcare professional in New York City. Who could give him a test? I got tested for the flu, which has very similar symptoms and was negative. I got a full viral panel to see if it was anything else that was negative and once that came back, I was told by the New York Presbyterian Hospital that I had to go home and self-quarantine, because my symptoms were not bad enough to be admitted Into the hospital and unless you’re admitting you don’t get a test, I finally just wouldn’t take no for an answer, and I drove at 5:00 in the morning to Connecticut to get a test that came back positive and his isn’t. The only example op-eds are popping up detailing the trying experience of attempting to get a Coppa 19 test in some major USA’s. These testimonials illustrate the fact that there are simply not enough tests to meet the demands of the scare American public, the highest priority for those patients that have been admitted to the hospital that are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital that have presumed kovat 19. Then you step back from that two people who are sick, who don’t need to be admitted to the hospital, but let’s say 101 temperatures they’ve got a cough, then the step down from there are the folks that have been exposed just Providence, st

Joseph’S help have enough tests or enough testing capability at this point to test all those people you just mentioned no yeah, what’s important now is that testing in the u.s. is ramping up. Public health labs in all 50 states currently have testing capacity. An increasing number of commercial and academic labs are testing now, as well. Labcorp says it has the ability to perform 20,000 kovat 19 tests per day. Fellow lab giant quest Diagnostics has increased capacity as well right now, we’re actually doing 25,000 per day thermo Fisher. One of the test makers that received one of those emergency use – authorization from the FDA has started to ship some of the 1.5 million tests it’s already produced to 200 labs across the country. The testing procedure may also evolve, potentially eliminating the need to go to an overwhelmed emergency room, to request a test. Abbott Laboratories submitted to the FDA today a request for approval of a point-of-care test. This would be the kind of test where you could go to your doctor. You could get the tests done there at your doctor and have the results in no more than 15 minutes, and the federal government may be using the defense production act, a law from the 1950s to acquire thousands more tests. On March 24th, the head of FEMA said that the White House plans to use its powers as designated in that law to procure 60,000 more test kits. But one critical question remains: will us be able to ramp up testing and thwart the spread of the virus before too many people get sick and the country’s health care system can’t treat everybody? Put simply, do we have enough time? Well, let me refer to your question, but you’re focused on testing in terms of what’s gon na change the curve. The testing itself is helpful, but it doesn’t it’s really the behavior changes. You know these sort of social distancing measures closing the schools. You know everyone work from home. This sort of social distancing measures are the thing that will show up two to three weeks out from now in the number of cases that we have yeah, I think we’ll get there and it’s gon na be a mix of demand and supply right, as we sort Of bend that curve and reduce the number of cases just like China has just like South Korea has mean it’s possible right. Its possible the time periods that we missed those three weeks from that initial sentinel case I got to get over it. I think most of us are getting over how much valuable information we lost. We hope that we fall somewhere between Korea and Italy that we hope we’ve done enough things early enough to avoid what we’re seeing in Italy,