President Donald Trump has only recently begun to acknowledge the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. As recently as late February, he still made statements like, “One day it’s like a miracle… It will disappear.”
That miracle didn’t happen and just one day after his silly statement, the US recorded it’s first death from COVID-19. From that point, the cases, and the death toll have been on the steady incline.
A huge factor in this country’s ridiculously slow reaction to this pandemic is the sheer lack of test kits developed by the CDC. Our President was slow to react and even when he did, the tests were largely unavailable.
The Wall Street Journal reported that White House aides actually found out about the test shortage NOT from public health officials in the government, but from members of the media.
The Journal reported it was first week of March that White House officials finally addressed shortage when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the time told ABC News that the US was “ramping up” production for the kits but seemingly also suggesting there was no shortage.
Responding to criticism from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Azar said, “I’m not sure what he meant when he said there is no lab kit.”
The CDC made a series of critical mistakes in the development of the kits. At first, some of the kits falsely detected the novel coronavirus in lab-grade water. The Journal obtained an email from a CDC official to state public-health-lab officials that stated that some labs saw “sporadic reactivity in the negative control of one of the three assay components.”
That might have been helpful to know BEFORE the CDC had sent those kits out. Alas, the kits had been sent to public-health labs and had to be retrieved. This was a crucial moment in this battle and one that will forever be seen as lost critical time against this virus.
The email said, “It is unclear why quality control did not detect this issue before the kits were sent out to states.”
The report says that the CDC is also being criticized for ignoring requests for expanded testing and not providing enough medical supplies to the private sector.