How many times have we heard from experts that if only the US did more testing, we could finally get coronavirus under control? Well, now we are learning about the extent of the trial from the group of cases surrounding President Trump.
The White House consists of 200 visitors or each guest, who attended Judge Amy Connie Barrett’s nomination ceremony on 26 September. President Trump is tested daily. Some businesses or other institutions can afford such extensive testing, but the president provides the best protection. Nevertheless, any testing strategy is not foolproof.
All guests at the nomination ceremony reportedly tested negative on arrival, but at least eight have tested positive. Several people who were not present but were in contact with the guests have also tested positive, including mentor Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stephen and Wisconsin Sen. Many remain asymptomatic.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has cut its work to investigate how the virus spreads and infects the president. But experts in cheap seats have left the culprit: Abbott’s ID Now test. The White House uses a portable device to screen guests because it can return results in 15 minutes.
Many experts have suggested that businesses and schools that use the Abbott test now complain that this PCR is less accurate than laboratory tests and not reliable enough to identify asymptomatic cases. But lab tests usually take a day or more to return results. Someone who tested negative one day before coming to the White House can be positive upon arrival.
Abbott says its test is about 95% sensitive when administered within seven days of symptom onset, meaning there is a 5% probability that someone who is positive will test negative. It is somewhat less reliable for those who have recently been infected or are not symptomatic, although it is unclear how much.
“It is necessary to keep in mind that tests detect the presence of coronovirus, because a person has sufficient viral material,” said John Koval, a spokesman for Abbott Labs. “No test detects the virus immediately after a person becomes infected. There is no such thing as a 100 percent correct and immediate test for any disease. ”
There is also no test that fully measures infectiousness. PCR lab tests detect the minuscule strand of virus DNA, but many experts say they also detect many chronic cases that are no longer infectious, heavy contact pathways. Now experts believe that the White House relies too much on tests that were not 100% reliable and that facial masks and social distinctions should also be mandatory. Okay, but a lesson from the test slip is that there is no silver bullet for the epidemic.
New York recommended experts after closing their businesses and mandating masks for the months following their Spring Surge. But new flare-ups in Queens and Brooklyn prompted Gov. Andrew Andrew to close schools in hot spots on Monday. What was that about crushing the virus, Governor?
Like tests, human behavior often falls short of religious expectations of experts. People should not always wear masks or social distances. But experts need to learn to live with imperfection as people do with viruses.
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