Obama Calls Out Lack Of 'Robust System Of Testing' Amid Coronavirus Crisis

by Madison Vanderberg
Originally Published: 
Medical colleagues are preparing for surgery
Morsa Images/Getty

Barack Obama steps in to instruct the country that we need to speed up testing capabilities to beat the coronavirus

From ignoring warnings in January to his bizarre overreliance on anti-malaria treatments to cure coronavirus, Donald Trump continues to mishandle the coronavirus pandemic, making any chance at reopening the country seem impossible at this point. Today on Twitter, President Barack Obama stepped up and point-blank told our nation what we need to do if we’re ever going to get out of lockdown and that is testing, lots and lots of testing.

“Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But in order to shift off current policies, the key will be a robust system of testing and monitoring – something we have yet to put in place nationwide,” Obama tweeted.

If only our sitting president could wrap his head around this fact. The lack of testing in the United States is baffling and mysterious. As evidenced by literally every person you know who tried to get tested, it’s almost impossible to do so. Some counties like Los Angeles even abandoned testing altogether for weeks at a time. Unfortunately for Trump, who apparently thinks it’s very easy to get tested, widespread testing is the only way to reopen the country again. Currently, the April 30 social distancing end-date is — as The New York Times puts it — “a guess. It’s pulled out of the air.”

According to experts and a new report out of AEI, the U.S. is only in phase one — social distancing — which only helps slow the spread of the virus. Experts say that we can only move into the reopening phase (phase two) when the “capacity exists in the state to test all people with COVID-19 symptoms, along with state capacity to conduct active monitoring of all confirmed cases and their contacts.” The experts in the study also suggest that the entire country would need to be running 750,000 tests a week to truly make a case for reopening the country.

Gregg Gonsalves, a professor of epidemiology and law at Yale, told The New York Times that we also need to be testing for antibodies, which will allow a person to know if they already had COVID-19, were unaware, and have since recovered, stating that we could “preferentially allow those who are antibody positive and no longer infectious to return to work first. The point is, though, that we are nowhere even near accomplishing any of these criteria. Opening up before then will be met with a resurgence of the virus.”

However, as ABC reports, some experts claim that we might be surprised to learn that very few people unknowingly got the virus and recovered and even still, doctors can’t say with certainty that getting the virus once makes you immune in the future — there is a possibility you could contract it twice.

Regardless, we need widespread testing and we need it fast.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

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