At what point does not testing for a known pandemic amount to gross negligence? - 2020-03-10
As of March 8, the CDC had only administered 1,707 coronavirus tests, that low figure rationalized by the idea that containment is still possible — simply test and isolate only those who had traveled between China or had been exposed to someone verified to have contracted the virus.
Given the rising figures from states who have developed their own tests and widened the testing criteria, it's clear there should be a strategy shift from containment to mitigation, starting with allowing for the testing of as many people as possible so that the people who have contracted it, or been exposed to someone who has, can either get care or self-quarantine. Containment only makes sense if you're aware of all the individual cases, and we're not.
It's beginning to appear as if our policy is predicated on denial — if we don't widely test for COVID-19, the numbers won't sharply rise and the administration can continue pretending this is the flu. But we've seen numbers spike elsewhere in a very short time, which makes sense given how much more contagious this virus is than the flu, not to mention how much more fatal. There is no reason to think we, as a country, are exceptionally immune to this, yet we're acting as if we are.