Trump Health Official Stumbles During Sunday TV Appearance

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After some six weeks of the Coronavirus’s documented presence in the United States, the number of people who’d been tested only reached the level of around several thousand — which, when compared to the global spread of the disease, was startlingly low. During a Meet the Press appearance this Sunday morning, National Institutes of Health infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci described the debacles surrounding earlier testing as just “missteps” — although it’s not a “misstep” that the politicization of the situation has become so dire that President Donald Trump said he considered leaving a cruise ship with infected passengers out at sea just to keep domestic case numbers down.

Fauci commented, as NBC reports:

‘”We really are accelerating dramatically” on coronavirus testing, after “some missteps with regard to the technical aspects” of the testing early on.’

These issues that Fauci describes as mere missteps even include the contamination of the testing kit production process at the national headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was producing the kits for public health facilities across the country.

On March 5 — just three days prior to Fauci’s NBC appearance — a health professional from northern California issued a public statement hammering the CDC for their delays in testing, explaining that after getting sick, she’d been unable to actually get a test from the CDC for her case.

She explained:

‘As a nurse, I’m very concerned that not enough is being done to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. I know because I am currently sick and in quarantine after caring for a patient who tested positive. I’m awaiting “permission” from the federal government to allow for my testing, even after my physician and county health professional ordered it.’

And what was the hold-up? Initially, she says that the agency told her they wouldn’t approve a test because, their logic went, if she was wearing the appropriate protective gear, then she supposedly couldn’t have gotten the virus. She was, in fact, wearing the gear, and in reality, the CDC response constitutes a grave commitment to bureaucracy in a time of potential public health emergency surrounding a virus that health professionals still know comparatively little about.

During his NBC appearance this weekend, Fauci also addressed some of the specifics surrounding actually getting infected with the virus. He explained that vulnerable people need to watch out. As he put it:

‘I think we’re getting a better sense as the days go by. Unfortunately, that better sense is not encouraging because we’re seeing community spread… The risk of getting into trouble with this infection, namely if you are infected, is overwhelmingly weighted towards people with underlying conditions and the elderly… If we continue to see the community spread go up, I think you need to seriously look at anything that’s a large gathering.’

The virus has been spreading fairly far within the U.S As of early Sunday, cases had been confirmed in 32 states and Washington, D.C. More than 400 Americans have been infected, and at least 19 people have died from the disease.