Harvard expert: US would have a ‘very different situation’ with earlier testing, lockdowns

Harvard expert: US would have a 'very different situation' with earlier testing, lockdowns
Harvard expert say would have a ‘very different situation

Harvard expert: US would have a ‘very different situation’ with earlier testing, lockdowns

Source: Thehill

he Harvard expert director of the Harvard Global Health Institute on Wednesday said that if earlier coronavirus testing and lockdowns had taken place in the United States, “we clearly would have had a different situation.”

Ashish Jha, the institute’s director, praised White House task force members Anthony Fauci, an epidemiologist who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah Birx, a physician leading the task force’s coronavirus response, in an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” and said he had “no interest in contradicting them.” 

“But I don’t know any public health expert who does not believe that if we had gotten our testing together, if we had gotten our hospitals ready, if we had communicated and gotten a lot of our lockdown orders going much earlier,” we would have had “a different situation,” he said.

“We clearly would have,” he added.

“If we had gotten our testing together, if we had gotten our hospitals ready… and gotten a lot of our lockdown orders going much earlier, we clearly would have had a different situation,” says Dr. Ashish K. Jha a harvard expert of the Harvard Global Health

The director also commented on the continued struggle to get testing across the U.S., saying it is “still a problem in many states.”

“A lot of states that look like they don’t have a lot of cases, aren’t doing a lot of testing,” he said. “So, I’m not actually convinced that they don’t have a lot of cases.”

“They just aren’t testing people and if you aren’t testing people you are not going to be finding cases,” he added. 

President Trump and his administration have faced a number of critics who say they did not respond fast enough to the coronavirus outbreak that has now infected more than 189,700 people and killed 4,090 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

But the administration has regularly pointed its finger at China, saying the country was not transparent about the disease it first began dealing with in December. 

Trump has also defended testing in the U.S., saying it was “very much on par” with other countries.

But governors and public health officials have contradicted that, saying the U.S.’s testing per capita has struggled to keep up with other nation’s testing rates.

the u.s slow start to coronavirus testing
Harvard expert say would have a ‘very different situation

The U.S.’s Slow Start to Coronavirus Testing: A Timeline (New York Times)

The World Health Organization says that Chinese health officials in Wuhan revealed a “cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause.”

The United States has its first confirmed case of coronavirus through travel: a man in Washington State.

The C.D.C. says that it has developed a sophisticated diagnostic test and has sought F.D.A. permission to send it to public labs around the country.

The White House announces a coronavirus task force led by the health secretary, Alex M. Azar II. President Trump attends the group’s first meeting and tweets that the experts “are on top of it.”

The Trump administration restricts travel from China, but exempts Americans and allows trade to continue. Mr. Azar declares a public health emergency.

Stanford University develops its own test for the coronavirus but runs into regulatory roadblocks at the F.D.A.

The F.D.A. approves the C.D.C. test, but the White House task force remains focused on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is placed under quarantine in Japan because 10 people on board are diagnosed with the coronavirus.Sign up to receive our daily Coronavirus Briefing, an informed guide with the latest developments and expert advice.Sign Up

The C.D.C. publicly discloses that its test kits aren’t working properly amid complaints from labs around the country that screening has been far too restricted.

The C.D.C. announces that it will begin surveillance testing to track the virus. But a month later, it says it hopes to “begin rolling out” the program, which has yet to begin in a significant way.

The chief executive of the Association of Public Health Laboratories writes to the F.D.A. that “we are now many weeks into the response with still no diagnostic or surveillance test available outside of C.D.C. for the vast majority of our member laboratories.” Separately, the head of the C.D.C. boasts to Congress about his agency’s “aggressive response” to screening.

The F.D.A. relaxes its rules for some laboratories, allowing them to start testing before the agency has completed its approvals. At a White House news conference, Mr. Trump concedes there will be more cases, but says, “There’s no reason to panic at all.”

New York City reports its first case.

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