Analysis

Analysis: When Is a Coronavirus Test Not a Coronavirus Test?

Desperate to continue the tradition of a family beach week, I hatched a plan that would allow some mask- and sanitizer-enhanced semblance of normality.

We hadn’t seen my two 20-something children in months. They’d spent the lockdown in Brooklyn; one of them most likely had the disease in late March, before testing was widely available. My mother had died of COVID-19 in May.

So a few weeks ago, I rented a cute house on the Delaware shore. It had a screened-in front porch and a little cottage out back, in case someone needed to quarantine.

I asked my son, who had participated in several protests and had been at a small outdoor July Fourth gathering, to get tested before he came. Testing had been recommended by the governor and the mayor, and many centers were offering an anticipated 48-hour turnaround.

He got one and downloaded the app for results. And

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Analysis: How A COVID-19 Vaccine Could Cost Americans Dearly

Yes, of course, Americans’ health is priceless, and reining in a deadly virus that has trashed the economy would be invaluable.

But a COVID-19 vaccine will have an actual price tag. And given the prevailing business-centric model of American drug pricing, it could well be budget breaking, perhaps making it unavailable to many.

The last vaccine to quell a global viral scourge was the polio inoculation, which ended outbreaks that killed thousands and paralyzed tens of thousands each year in the United States. The March of Dimes Foundation covered the nominal drug cost for a free national vaccination program.

It came in the mid-1950s, before health insurance for outpatient care was common, before new drugs were protected by multiple patents, before medical research was regarded as a way to become rich. It was not patented because it was not considered patentable under the standards at the time.

Now we are

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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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