"How Testing Failures Allowed Coronavirus To Sweep The U.S."

"The Trump administration’s decision to forgo a World Health Organization test and create its own had fateful consequences, experts say."

"On Saturday Jan. 11 — a month and a half before the first Covid-19 case not linked to travel was diagnosed in the United States — Chinese scientists posted the genome of the mysterious new virus, and within a week virologists in Berlin had produced the first diagnostic test for the disease.

Soon after, researchers in other nations rolled out their own tests, too, sometimes with different genetic targets. By the end of February, the World Health Organization had shipped tests to nearly 60 countries.

The United States was not among them.

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."

Joanne Kenen reports for Politico March 8, 2020.


"Coronavirus: US Is Failing On Testing, Says Fauci" (BBC News)

"Sick People Across the U.S. Say They Are Being Denied the Coronavirus Test" (New York Times)

"Why There Aren't Enough Coronavirus Tests in the U.S." (Popular Mechanics)

"Coronavirus: California Testing Hamstrung By Shortage Of Key Chemical" (San Jose Mercury News)

"She's a Texas Nurse Who Treats Cancer Patients — And She Can't Get A Coronavirus Test. That's Not Unusual." (Texas Tribune)

"Confusion Over The Availability And Criteria For Coronavirus Testing Is Leaving Sick People Wondering If They're Infected" (CNN)

Opinion: "Why Have So Few Americans Been Tested for Coronavirus?" (New York Times)

"FDA Approves Emergency New Coronavirus Test To Boost Screening In The U.S." (Forbes)

"Trump Blocked Aggressive Coronavirus Testing Because He Worried It Would Hurt His Reelection" (PoliticusUSA)

"Anger Grows At Trump Administration's Coronavirus Testing Failures" (Guardian)

"Why the U.S. Is So Behind on Coronavirus Testing" (Atlantic)

"Trump Touts Virus Testing Policy That Does Not Exist" (MSNBC)

"Trump Blames Obama For Coronavirus Testing Issues, Says 'Changes Have Been Made'" (The Hill)

Source: Politico, 03/13/2020