Daily US Times: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the US should increase testing by twice as much and thinks this will be possible.
Dr. Fauci made the comments at a National Academy of Sciences Covid-19 Update webcast on Saturday as coronavirus deaths exceeded 53,000 and cases of the disease have surpassed 900,000 across the nation.
Dr. Fauci is also a key member of White House coronavirus task force, estimated that the US is conducting approximately 1.5 to 2 million Covid-19 tests per week and that “we probably should get up to twice that as we get into the next several weeks, and I think we will.”
He noted that he was referring to diagnostic testing of the coronavirus, not antibody testing.
He also shed his focuses on other parts like contact tracing, isolation and identification. Hei said testing is an important part but it’s not the only part.
“We don’t want to get fixated on how many tests you need,” he added.
”The US needs to have enough tests to respond to the outbreaks that will inevitably occur as you try and ease your way back into the different phases,” he said.
Dr. Fauci made these comments as President Donald Trump and he disagreed this week about the country’s testing capacity amid the ongoing pandemic.
On Thursday during a Time 100 Talks interview, Fauci said: ”We absolutely need to significantly ramp up, not only the number of tests but the capacity to actually perform them.”
During a coronavirus task force news briefing on the same day, Trump said in response that he thinks the country is doing “a great job”.
The President said: “I don’t agree with him on that, no, I think we’re doing a great job on testing.”
Trump and his political allies have touted the total number of coronavirus tests conducted in the US but the country still remains far behind Italy in per capita tests performed.
Two different plans for reopening from the current lockdown have explained the US will have to be able to perform millions of coronavirus tests each week before lockdown measures can be safely lifted.
The United States has performed about 4 million tests so far, but governors have reported continued shortages of the materials needed to run tests.
On Thursday, Dr Fauci appeared to be hopeful that testing levels would eventually reach desired levels, citing improvements already over time.
He said: “We’re getting better and better at it, as the weeks go by, but we are not in a situation where we say we’re exactly where we want to be with regard to testing.”
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