As the CDC and the State Department continue their blame game over who was responsible for breaking quarantine during the evacuation of more than 300 American passengers aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’, a Rutgers professor is raising interesting questions about the federal government’s response to the outbreak on Twitter.
Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology, pointed out that only 426 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus since the outbreak began.
That’s compared with nearly 200,000 tests in China, and 28,000 tests in South Korea.
Not question each of those countries has a more serious outbreak. But it seems like there have been enough scares across the US to warrant more tests, especially as authorities promised to trace contacts and isolate them.
As of Monday, the CDC has reported 39 cases among people returning from Wuhan or the Diamond Princess, 12 additional ‘travel related’ cases, as well as two cases of human-to-human transmission involving family members of those infected abroad.
So, why hasn’t the US taken the initiative to test more cases? It’s true that the CDC warned about a shortage of quality test kids last week. And on Monday, senior White House officials warned about the vulnerable supply chain for health-care products needed to combat the outbreak, as we noted earlier.
Does this mean the federal government and the CDC have obscured the seriousness of a shortage of virus tests and other medical gear?
Or is this another example of the federal agency dragging its feet for some reason probably related to bureaucratic politics.