Because of the shortage of tests for Covid-19, the only number we can be somewhat sure of is the death toll. The lack of testing will allow the virus to spread undetected. Due to a tragicomedy of errors, the US, the wealthiest country in the world, is the least prepared.
According to the AP, ”Outside observers and federal health officials have pointed to four primary issues that together hampered the national response — the early decision not to use the test adopted by the World Health Organization, flaws with the more complex test developed by the CDC, government guidelines restricting who could be tested, and delays in engaging the private sector to ramp up testing capacity.”
Whatever the dark reasons behind the shortage are, one thing seems clear; if you have enough money you can get tested. Some celebrities who tested positive are Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Placido Domingo, Idris Elba and Daniel Dae Kim. The entire Utah Jazz basketball team managed to get tested with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell testing positive.
Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was able to get tested for the coronavirus, although he is in Rikers jail serving a sentence of 29 years. After allegedly testing positive, he was transferred to isolation.
Senator Rand Paul continued his activities for several days in the Senate including swimming in the pool after he was tested and before he knew the result, which was positive. He is now in self-isolation along with 4 other Republican senators, as of this writing and an unexpected development of that is that the Republicans are suddenly no longer the Senate majority.
Rich people are being tested, hoarding ventilators and other medical equipment while the rest of us are being told, “if you think you have it, you probably do, don’t get tested.”
The GOP seems mainly concerned with bailing out big corporations and kick-starting a dying economy. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stated that, “grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy.” Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, also suggested there will be some collateral damage and he’s ok with that.
Meanwhile, a man in Tucson, Arizona stole 29 Covid-19 tests from the El Rio Health Center. In Senegal scientists are developing a 10 minute test which may be readily available by June. Germany has drive-through testing and Iceland tested its entire population.
Citizens can expect little help from the people in charge of the Federal government, who blithely deflect their responsibilities. The numbers are clear at this stage and the US is about to suffer some punishing statistics. Many people who are unable to get tested will die. The coronavirus may not respect class divides, but many of the administrators in charge of handling the pandemic do.
A.Heimer can be reached at [email protected]