We need to ramp up testing

By 04/26/2020covid, economy

The country can get back to work right now but according to some estimates, 6 to 30 million will die by the end of the pandemic if we go back to “business as usual”. These numbers are based on hard data stating that no less than 2 to 10% of infected will die.  Pick whatever percent you believe will die and multiply by 300 million, or 80 per cent of the US population, to get a result you yourself will believe.  No matter what percent death rate you start out with, the result is horrific.

The WHO, well known for underestimating the lethality of pandemic at early stages of development, has stated that about 3.4 per cent will die. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but under the MERS pandemic, WHO underestimated the death rate by 6%. Testing is fundamental and so far we have tested less than 1% of the population, taking into consideration that the clinical diagnostic and treatment of the disease requires multiple tests per person.

To safely re-open the country, it is imperative to test people whose jobs place them in contact with hundreds of individuals, either daily or at least twice a week. Workers who are exposed to fewer people can be tested weekly and get an additional test if they have the first sign of covid-19 symptoms. Those individuals testing positive need to be quarantine until they are no longer exhaling and transmitting live virus. A failure to implement such protocol, will result with asymptomatic patients infecting hundreds of thousands more and people will keep dying until 80 per cent of the population will acquire antibodies, therefore achieving”herd immunity”.

Even at the conservative WHO March 3rd final casualty rate estimate, over 25 million Americans would die, approaching 10% of the total population, or the equivalent of all Floridians including a couple of million tourists.  The only way to curtail this progress is to enact testing capabilities for 20-30 million tests per week, at a cost of 100 billion dollars. In as much as this amount may sound large, as of mid-April Boeing and the airlines have been allocated 50 billion dollars in grants. It seems the priority of the government is placed on preserving non-operative planes vs saving millions of lives.

The politicos telling the populous that this cannot be done are bending the truth to a degree that would have landed them in a war crime tribunal in another era. While the states cannot do this on their own, it is equally true that as of now anyone who needs a test will not get a test. The defense production act needs to be enacted to start a massive nationwide effort to ramp up testing  up to 30 million test per week.  This would not be very expensive program, accruing the equivalente of about 15% of our defense budget. In as much as the constitution commences with “We the People”, at the end of the day the goals of the Government, preserve planes and the economy, and the goals of the People, save our lives, are not aligned.









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