We’re well into the week following the one where the United States was supposed to get about a million more testing kits for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), and they’re still not here.
Despite promises by the Trump administration that everything is under control, reports are emerging to suggest that authorities have failed to produce even a “small number of testing kits,” according to former Affordable Care Act (ACA) head Andy Slavitt. There have also been only 77 new coronavirus tests conducted this past week by the CDC.
“Labs and states are worried,” Slavitt tweeted, chiding the Trump administration for failing to deliver on its promises. “Expect next to no availability to continue for weeks. It is vital to self-quarantine.”
Slavitt’s announcement came just before President Trump made an announcement from the Oval Office about suspended travel from most European countries, save for the United Kingdom (UK), for the next 30 days.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump announced.
“The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight,” he added, pointing to Friday the 13th. “These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.”
Following this announcement, Trump clarified in a tweet that this travel suspension only applies to foreign nationals who have traveled to one of 26 European countries in the past 14 days. American citizens are supposedly exempt and will be directed to “limited airports” for government screening.
Listen below as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, unpacks President Trump’s current failures in responding to this epidemic, warning that the U.S. is not at all prepared for this pandemic:
Testifying before lawmakers on Wednesday, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tried to defend the agency’s failure to elicit a formidable response to this burgeoning crisis.
CDC head Robert Redfield was chided during one particularly heated exchange, prompting him to respond with claims that the federal agency has maintained an “aggressive” response to this unfolding pandemic.
The truth, however, is that the CDC has been slow to roll out a proper testing protocol, and is also lacking in testing kits. The few testing kits that the CDC did unveil earlier on were also largely defective, which set the process back even further.
“Recovering from that misstep cost us precious weeks and now months,” stated Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois. “Meanwhile, the virus spread and people died.”
When he was interviewed later about Redfield’s testimony, Krishnamoorthi told reporters that Redfield “seemed to paint a rosy picture of the CDC.”
“I think that really ran contrary to the facts,” he added about Redfield’s rhetoric, which doesn’t seem to match reality.
Because there still aren’t enough testing kits to go around, the CDC and the Trump administration are still pushing the narrative that only the highest-risk patients need to be tested. Everyone else, the story goes, is just fine and has a “low risk” of infection.
“Sending out faulty tests is unforgivable,” added David Ho, a leading AIDS researcher from Columbia University who blasted the CDC for sending out test kits early on that didn’t even work.
“There was so much time to prepare,” he added.
Former New York City Health Department Commissioner and CDC Director Tom Frieden also piped in on the situation, noting that when he was in charge during the Zika and H1N1 crises, the CDC didn’t run into these types of problems.
This current situation is “certainly disappointing,” Frieden is quoted as saying.
To keep up with the latest Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) news, be sure to check out the all-new Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: