How many test kits does America actually need?
More important, was America caught flat footed in regard to COVID-19?
If one is to believe the liberal media, President Trump’s administration was caught asleep at the wheel. The COVID-19 protocols put in place by his administration were woefully inadequate.
First, there weren’t enough test kits.
Then there was the government red tape in testing those kits, with the CDC designated as the only authorized entity to conduct the tests, leading to lengthy delays between the testing of potential Covid-19 carriers and the reporting of those results.
It’s undeniable having the CDC handle the testing created a bottleneck—and should have been foreseen by the CDC and FDA.
Still, the major complaint has been the inadequate access to testing kits.
The question: Exactly how many COVID-19 test kits do we need?
More important, what drives that number?
Sadly, the hysteria over test kits has been driven almost entirely by the myth that the government can flatten the number of cases of Coronavirus. (Read: The Myth of Curve Flattening)
Contrary to popular perception the curve flattening theory does not reduce the overall number of hospitalizations, the area under the curve.
Rather, the theory suggests the number of cases requiring medical attention can be spread out over a longer period of time, thereby flattening out the peak number of hospitalizations occurring at any given time, which in turn reduces the strain on healthcare systems.
When we look closely at the debate over the inadequate numbers of testing kits, what we find is that argument is based on the numbers required to implement the curve flattening strategy.
The dilemma, the flattening of the curve theory is largely myth.
It is another case of theory running into the harsh reality of the real world.
Given the nexus of the of the media’s outcry over the inadequate number of testing kits was predicated on a myth—what should the real number be?
In reality, the number of test kits should be based on medical need—not the myth of 100% testing and curve flattening.
Health care providers need to know what ailment they are dealing with—this should be the driver for test kit numbers.
When someone seeks medical attention—health care staff need to have the ability to determine the medical needs of that individual.
Again we ask the seminal question: Given medical need, how many test kits are required?
The answer: Far fewer than the millions the liberal media would have the public believe.
Ultimately, the number should be a reflection of individuals who have had to seek medical attention due to a severe reaction to the COVID-19 virus.
It is those who have developed complications from their infection—not those who have simply contracted the COVID-19 virus who should be tested. In fact, the number of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 is immaterial.
Beyond the actual number of individuals seeking medical attention—the number of test kits must also include reserve stock—as the need for tests kits may be skewed by the dispersion of the virus across the country.
In the U.K. mild cases are not tested to determine the presence of the Coronavirus—similarly in America, mild cases should never have been included in the calculation of the test kits required—but sadly, they have been.
This leads to a more reasonable number in the 10s of thousands—not 10s of millions.
Ultimately, the outcry for the need for 10s of millions of Coronavirus test kits is a red herring.
A red herring based on the need of 100% testing associated with the myth of curve flattening.
This massive roll out of test kits exacerbates the already painfully slow processing time of those test kits.
Waiting days to get results is unacceptable; although without any anti-viral protocols specific to the Coronavirus, there is little health care professionals can do specific to COVID-19 other than to implement standard treatments.
Still, the CDC and FDA should have foreseen the need for faster turnaround regarding the test kits submitted by doctors and hospitals.
In the end, the true number of test kits should have been predicated on medical need—not some abstract theory.
Contrary to the outcry from the liberal media, that number is in the 10s of thousands—not 10s of millions.