Last week, in regards to the COVID-19 tests, President Donald Trump told Americans that "anyone who wants a test can get a test." Fast forward to this week, however, and we've found out just how untrue that statement is. Once the CDC declared COVID-19 to be a public health emergency, that triggered regulations which prevented hospitals and private lab companies from developing their own tests. When it came time for them to release the tests, the CDC botched the rollout of the one they developed, leaving doctors unable to properly diagnose and treat their patients. It's a government-sponsored shit show.
“As a practicing hospitalist, I’m furious that my ability to test patients for this disease is curtailed due to CDC-imposed red tape,” said Dr. Kyle Varner, a physician from the state of Washington. “The result is that patients are waiting for extended periods of time for their testing results and experiencing isolation and discomfort, while doctors can only guess at the true extent of the pandemic in their communities.”
A statement from the Libertarian National Committee summed up this debacle succinctly, when it pointed out how much tax money this behemoth gets and how inept they are when it comes time to use it.
Public health authorities in the United States soak up billions of tax dollars per year, run entire federal and state agencies, and regularly lobby congress for more power and tax money. Yet, when the time comes for them to respond to a global pandemic that threatens hundreds of thousands of American lives, they let America down. The result will be that this pandemic will be far more deadly and disruptive than it could have otherwise been.
We may pay taxes to support these agencies and their bureaucrats, but that doesn’t mean we can rely on them to keep us safe or healthy. In fact, during this pandemic, they have been the single biggest obstacle to an effective and life-saving response to the crisis.
“South Korea is able to test 15,000 patients per day, and are even adding drive-through testing, all while American doctors have to ration tests and can't even know they are infected because there are not enough working tests here,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. “Instead of allowing medical professionals to get working tests from wherever they can, government regulations stop healers from getting the tools they need to save American lives."
On Thursday, despite this major fail within the system to produce these tests, Trump told Americans how good of a job the government is doing, saying, "Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth. If you go to the right agency, if you go to the right area, you get the test."
We have no idea what he means when he says "right area" or "right agency," as he failed to clarify. The doctors on the front line would also like to know where this is as well — especially considering the fact that the CDC kits are missing a vital reagent that allows doctors to isolate the virus’ genetic material, or RNA, from the sample.
The government test kits only contain primers and probes, according to the CDC website.
“We are deeply concerned that as the number of tests increases dramatically over the coming weeks, clinical labs will be unable to deploy them without these critical components,” according to a statement released by the American Society of Microbiology.
“Increased demand for testing,” it said, “has the potential to exhaust supplies needed to perform the testing itself.”
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According to Yahoo News, so far, only 7,617 people have been tested in state laboratories, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a database that updates the test statistics from states and the federal government. (Some of those statistics don’t include negative tests, which means the number tested could be higher.) On Tuesday, the 50 states cumulatively had tested only 2,728 people, meaning an average of 55 people tested per state.
With a population of of over 320 million people, this likely means that the actual number of COVID-19 infected Americans is vastly greater than reported by Johns Hopkins which is currently sitting a 1,700 as of Friday morning.
The good news is that according to the CDC, 80 percent of those who will contract the COVID-19 virus, will be just fine and experience very mild symptoms. For the other 20%, however, it will be a rough road.
While the government fumbles COVID-19 testing that could quite literally save countless lives by allowing people to self-quarantine before spreading it to others, they have no problem throwing more than a trillion dollars at Wall Street.
On Thursday, the Fed announced a massive injection of liquidity into the market in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging in the stock market. In all, the new moves pump in up to $1.5 trillion into the financial system in an effort to combat potential freezes brought on by the COVID-19, according to CNBC.
“These changes are being made to address highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak,” the New York Fed said.
We are now hearing terminology that hasn't been used since the collapse of 2008.
As the Wall Street Journal reports:
The Federal Reserve said it would make vast sums of short-term loans available on Wall Street and purchase Treasury securities in a coronavirus-related response aimed at preventing ominous trading conditions from creating a sharper economic contraction.
The Fed’s promise to intervene substantially in short-term money markets, together with a move that opens the door to a resumption of bond-buying stimulus known as quantitative easing, followed two days of trading in which market functioning appeared to have degraded.
It appears that all of this "injecting" has had very little effect.
As the Fed began pumping this massive amount money into the market, a sharp turnaround began to unfold. However, most of those gains were pared before the market closed — ending with a total loss of 10% — the single worst day on Wall Street since the crash of 1987.