A lot of folks have distrusted the numbers coming out of China since the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. That uneasy feeling was justified when it was discovered that many patients weren’t being counted because they were never tested. Once an alternative testing method was temporarily approved, the number of infected people skyrocketed. This was only temporary though because Chinese officials reverted quickly to their previous method of only relying on the nucleic acid test, which is infamous for false negatives. (There are reports that suggest certain infected people tested negative as many as six times before a positive test occurred, according to MedicineNet.)
Looking at China’s official response and looking at the American official response, I see some troubling similarities that make me wonder if our own numbers are accurate at all.
Hardly anyone is actually being tested in the United States.
First of all, very few tests have actually been performed in the United States. As of Feb. 26, 2020, the CDC reported that only 466 tests had been performed in the US and the criteria for being tested is so narrow as to render the statistics useless.
This was proven to be the case with the patient in California who was finally tested after four days and found to have Covid19, even though she has not been to China or knowingly been in contact with anyone from China. Why wasn’t she tested sooner?
Because she didn’t fit “the criteria” laid out by the CDC for testing.
Hospital administrators said they immediately requested diagnostic testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the procedure was not carried out because the case did not qualify under strict federal criteria: She had not traveled to China and had not been in contact with anyone known to be infected. (source)
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