Here is a table from Karen Hustler showing how many people have been tested in a selection of nations. The USA is at the bottom of the list having done the worst job (as far as we know from the available statistics).
Even though most nations have been testing way more people than the US, they have managed to keep track of how many tests are completed. The US can’t even keep track of the miniscule number we have done! We were able to keep track for a month until Pence took over the leadership of the effort and now our government won’t say how much testing we have done. The only testing-related statistics that Pence and his officials talk about is the number of test kits that they have or that they will have soon, but that is irrelevant to the facts on the ground right now because the bottleneck has never been the number of kits, but rather the amount of tests that have been done. Is the testing problem fixed? We can’t know until we see some numbers.
So far the available evidence suggests that it isn’t fixed. First there is the fact that the government is touting misleading, irrelevant propaganda about test kits rather than about completed tests. Secondly, the case fatality rate (CFR) in the US is 7% which is over double the case fatality rate in the rest of the world at 3.4%. The virus probably isn’t more deadly in the US. The most likely reason that the US has such a limited testing ability that we have reserved testing for the most critically ill patients who are on the verge of death. That means we haven’t detected very many cases and the ones we have detected are the most severe ones.
Countries that have done the most testing like China and Korea have a much lower CFR than the world average and the countries with the least testing (like the US presumably) have the highest CFR. In China, as the amount of testing increased, the CFR predictably declined because more and more people with less symptoms were detected as carrying the disease.
The failure to fix the testing problem is just one more sign of the failure of leadership in America in response to this crisis. Instead of fixing the problem, our leadership is denying that it is a problem and hiding information about it and our media is letting them get away with it so far.
Call your congressperson and ask them to pressure the White House to fix the problem and keep calling until they give us evidence that verifies that the problem has been fixed.
[…] public relations effort of the administration has tried to focus not on actual testing, but on how many “test kits” will be produced. Pence promised that 1.5 million tests would be going out this week, but that is […]