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Sun Mar 8, 2020, 05:44 PM

Colossal failures and loss of critical weeks of testing and containment -- we need answers!

Excerpt from informative article (Politico)

Why the United States declined to use the WHO test, even temporarily as a bridge until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could produce its own test, remains a perplexing question and the key to the Trump administration’s failure to provide enough tests to identify the coronavirus infections before they could be passed on, according to POLITICO interviews with dozens of viral-disease experts, former officials and some officials within the administration’s health agencies.

And this, from an article in The Guardian:

By 13 January – three days after the gene sequence was published – a reliable test was available, developed by scientists at the department of virology at Berlin’s Charité university hospital with help from experts in Rotterdam, London and Hong Kong.

I want to hear that congressional committees are conducting robust inquiries on the effectiveness of efforts going forward, rapidly compiling national and state program recommendations from experts outside the DT admin, and appropriating additional emergency funds to implement. I want to hear they are investigating the stink that surrounds the disastrous actions to date. I want to see the paper trail (emails, memos, meeting notes, guidelines...).

I would also love to see someone like Jane Mayer dig into questions like these:

Why did the CDC decide they needed to produce their own test, rather than use the reliable test already developed by Jan 13? (The CDC effort apparently took an additional 3 weeks.) What process/reasoning, went into that disastrous decision?

Why didn't the FDA immediately trigger a regulatory workaround enabling qualified medical centers to roll out tests that they had designed themselves? (BTW, AP fact check reports that the regulatory limitation was implemented by the Trump admin, NOT Obama's, as DT and other admin officials claimed.)

What failures in process allowed the CDC test "performance issues" to go undetected until AFTER they began distributing their test around Feb 5? (Problems identified by recipients, NOT the CDC.) What the hell happened to quality control?

Why did most states have to continue to send their samples to CDC for an additional 4 weeks (through March 2), causing a "bottleneck"? (A bottleneck that led the agency to put in place extremely restrictive criteria for testing to ease the burden.)

Time will tell how quickly we can put in place the means to collect samples from those who need to be tested,** and have those samples transported to, and processed by, labs with the capacity to produce rapid results. Test kits, by themselves, are of no use. There needs to be a system in place. (And no, it is not "too late." If we fail to put efforts into both containment AND building capacity to treat, we will have many more people to treat, putting an even greater burden on the system.)

Time will also tell how high a price in precious lives this nation will pay for the loss of critical weeks.

One thing we know is that the magnitude of the crisis will be far higher than it would have been if the administration hadn't pursued its lie, ignore, deny, dismiss "strategy" to "protect" the stock market. Of course, their strategy will certainly backfire. As the crisis accelerates as a result their colossal failures, so too will the affect on stocks.

** "those who need to be tested" must include all contacts traced from known cases, as well as symptomatic people, particularly those who live, work, and otherwise have, or have had, contact with vulnerable people. Such testing will likely require staffing of tracing task forces, as well as training, equipping, and deploying people to collect samples "in place."

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