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NYT Investigates America’s ‘Lost Month’ for Coronavirus Testing

NYT Investigates America’s ‘Lost Month’ for Coronavirus Testing

The New York Times interviewed over 50 present and former U.S. well being officers, senior scientists, firm executives, and administration officers to analyze America’s “lost month” with out widespread coronavirus testing, “when the world’s richest nation — armed with a number of the most extremely educated scientists and infectious illness specialists — squandered its finest probability of containing the virus’s unfold.”
With capability so restricted, the Center for Disease Control’s standards for who was examined remained extraordinarily slender for weeks to return: solely individuals who had just lately traveled to China or had been in touch with somebody who had the virus. The lack of checks within the states additionally meant native public well being officers couldn’t use one other important epidemiological software: surveillance testing. To see the place the virus could be hiding, nasal swab samples from folks screened for the frequent flu would even be checked for the coronavirus…

Even although researchers across the nation rapidly started creating checks that might diagnose Covid-19, many mentioned they have been hindered by the Food and Drug Administration’s approval course of. The new checks sat unused at labs across the nation. Stanford was certainly one of them. Researchers on the world-renowned college had a working check by February, based mostly on protocols revealed by the World Health Organization…. By early March, after federal officers lastly introduced adjustments to develop testing, it was too late. With the early lapses, containment was not an choice. The software equipment of epidemiology would shift — lockdowns, social disruption, intensive medical remedy — in hopes of mitigating the hurt.

Now, the United States has greater than 100,000 coronavirus circumstances, probably the most of any nation on the earth… And nonetheless, many Americans sickened by the virus can not get examined… In tacit acknowledgment of the scarcity, Mr. Trump requested South Korea’s president on Monday to ship as many check kits as attainable from the 100,000 produced there every day, greater than the nation wants. Public well being specialists reacted positively to the elevated capability. But being able to diagnose the illness three months after it was first disclosed by China does little to deal with why the United States was unable to take action sooner, when it might need helped cut back the toll of the pandemic.

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