Analysis

Analysis: We Knew The Coronavirus Was Coming, Yet We Failed 5 Critical Tests

The arrival of COVID-19 has provided a nuclear-level stress test to the American health care system, and our grade isn’t pretty: at least 73,000 dead, 1.2 million infected and 30 million unemployed; nursing homes, prisons and meatpacking plants that have become hotbeds of infection. The actual numbers are certainly far higher, since there still hasn’t been enough testing to identify all those who have died or have been infected.

By all accounts, a number of other countries have responded — and fared — far better.

In some ways, COVID-19 seemed the biological equivalent of 9/11 — unthinkable until it happened. Who would have thought individuals would fly jets filled with people into skyscrapers filled with workers? Likewise, who would have predicted the onslaught of a new virus that was stealthy, easily transmissible and also often perilous?

Actually, many public health specialists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, did. And yet,

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Analysis: The Real Tragedy Of Not Having Enough COVID-19 Tests

President Donald Trump said late last month that he hadn’t “heard about testing in weeks.” But today — let’s face it — tests are being rationed in many parts of the country.

Of course, the seriously ill and essential front-line personnel like doctors, nurses and police officers require and deserve to go to the front of the line for testing.

But hundreds of thousands more people should have been tested by now, if only more tests were available. Testing them — and getting results — might have vastly changed their behavior, their self-care at home and (perhaps most important) our understanding of COVID-19, so that when it flares locally we would know how to respond in a more nuanced way, rather than shutting down society.

As of this writing, I know nearly a dozen people who are “presumed COVID.” None of them were tested because they were not sick enough

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