If you were wondering what the government has done to control the coronavirus pandemic in the country, President Donald Trump may have given the precise answer last Saturday at a rally in Tulsa.
Comfortable in his demagogic shoes, Trump finally told his small audience the truth by claiming to have asked his officials to slow down the testing of COVID-19 in the country to avoid having a high number of cases and thus show that they have never controlled the virus in the country.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please. They test and they test.”
This is one of the many bits of evidence of the administration’s negligence in controlling the pandemic, flattening the curve, and preventing the increase of deaths and infections in the country, which today total more than two million cases, and more than 100,000 deaths.
From the beginning of the global public health crisis, organizations such as the World Health Organization insisted that the best way to control the spread of the virus was through mass testing of populations and the establishment of social distancing protocols.
In order to proceed with the reopening of economies, as President Trump has so longed for, the WHO has assured that it is necessary to “effectively contain” the pandemic, by identifying infected persons and isolating them to prevent them from infecting others, taking into special consideration presynaptic transmission — that is, without symptoms.
According to the Harvard Institute for Global Health, the level of testing required in the United States is more than 900,000 per day. To date, although testing rates have been steadily increasing, they average about 468,000 per day.
WHO also recommends increasing testing until less than 10 percent is positive in any given jurisdiction. As of 14 June 2020, the percentage of positive tests in the United States as a whole has fallen to less than 5 percent, but the early reopening and lack of required supplies has led to a further increase in cases across the territory.
The biggest focus has been in the south and west of the country, where officials say more young people are ignoring social distancing measures and testing positive, according to CNN.
“With younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida, expect a lower death rate in this wave … until the 20-40 year olds who are infected today go on to infect others,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Twitter.
For his part, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, told Axios that the recent high number of cases in young people “is not surprising,” and warned that the country will not see a second wave, as it has not effectively broken out of the first.
“They get infected first, then they come home, and then they infect the older people. The older people get the complications, and then they go to the hospitals,” Fauci said. “The death rate always lags several weeks behind the infection rate.”
Finally, while the president is embroiled in a campaign for re-election that seems destined to fail, the country is moving in the opposite direction from many of the world’s largest economies that have decided to solve a health problem with measures that favor the people, not the government.