The debate on testing continued today

Testing czar Admiral Giroir and I were both on @cnn offering differing views on:

What’s being done & what isn’t
What’s working & what isn’t
Who is providing effective leadership & who isn’t
And what’s needed to meet the challenge

First, I believe that Admiral Giroir is a patriot. He cares about this country and I'm sure he is trying his best.

So none of this is personal.

But 1000 Americans are dying needlessly.

Every single day.

So it is important we get this right.

Too many test results are taking too long to come back to be useful for tracing

In many places, testing not widely available and people are having to waiting in long lines

The federal government has NOT done everything it can.

Federal government has not invoked and fully used the Defense Production Act to build up reagents, machines, etc.

It has not done everything possible to ramp up production of antigen tests and other new generation of tests.

It has not laid out a coherent testing strategy

Here is what we need:

A transition to faster, ubiquitous testing to identify more infected folks

A concerted approach to make sure everyone with symptoms get test quickly, results within 24 hrs

Is that enough?

No, we also need enough capacity to test all contacts


And we need....

Enough capacity to test teachers, kids in schools

Enough capacity to test nursing home residents, workers

Enough capacity to test workers in key industries like meat packing plants

Enough capacity to test healthcare workers regularly

Yes, that is millions of tests a day. Many millions.

Yes our nation needs that level of testing.

No we don’t have it.

Yes we can do it if we actually put all of our time, effort and some real resources behind it.

Of course testing no panacea. We also need masking, etc

But testing is key. And we can't put testing on hold when a vaccine is months away

We are a rich nation intellectually & financially

I believe we are capable of meeting the testing needs of the American people

You can follow @ashishkjha.
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