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The U.S. should better prioritize who can get tested for COVID-19

The U.S. should better prioritize who can get tested for COVID-19

The U.S. should better prioritize who can get tested for COVID-19
April 02
09:30 2020

The first case of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. was reported on January 21st, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As we approach the fourth month of dealing with this pandemic, we have become the nation with the most cases of this virus, surpassing China, which has four times the population the U.S. has. The fact we have become the nation with the most cases can be due to the lack of a timeliness response from the U.S. government along with a lack of proper testing and accessibility. 

President Donald Trump thought the virus was a hoax and blamed it all on the Democratic party claiming they were “politicising the virus” and that it is their “new hoax.” Trump’s belief that the virus was fake is what has caused us to be in this predicament. If he had taken the virus more seriously since the first case was reported in the U.S., we would not be in the situation we are in right now. The lack of a timely response from the government is a factor as to why many individuals cannot get proper testing and why the virus has spread so quickly. If the government would have had the tests for COVID-19 readily accessible, the spread of the virus could have been minimized. 

The lack of proper testing is also another factor as to why there is a lack of prioritization in testing for the virus. Only 32,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed at the time this was written, according to a report from the CDC featured on Healthline. The U.S. currently has 115,000 cases and this number is only expected to rise. We know the U.S. is not taking this situation seriously since we now have more than double the cases reported compared to those who have been tested. In countries like South Korea, they have conducted 3,600 tests per million people. Meanwhile, the U.S. has only conducted five tests per million people. Since the U.S. is slow on testing people, it is making it hard to get others to quarantine.

The country is also appearing to give priority to those who are public officials, athletes and celebrities. We have seen many celebrities like Idris Elba, Rudy Gobert, Sean Payton, Rand Paul and others get tested relatively quickly rather than those who are regular citizens. A normal citizen usually goes to the doctor and is told to call the CDC just to be on get put on hold for many hours and to end up being told to go to the doctor. Yet, many of these celebrities get tested as soon as they begin to feel slightly unwell and then go on to tell the public they are feeling great and not reporting symptoms, but have tested positive for the virus. President Trump is also telling the country to not get tested if they are not showing symptoms. The differing viewpoints coming from so many people has caused a mass confusion regarding the virus.

With richer, higher up citizens getting tested frequently and easily, this all leads to an assumption to be drawn that these individuals have a higher priority than regular citizens. Having testing be more accessible is very crucial in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and helps to track the spread of the virus which can lead to a minimization of the spread.

Featured Illustration: Jae-Eun Suh

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Eunice Hernandez

Eunice Hernandez

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