ECLETIC RANT: We Need More Coronavirus Testing

Ralph E. Stone
Friday March 13, 2020 - 03:36:00 PM

Both South Korea and the U.S. knew about the coronavirus (COVID-19) as early as January this year. Since then, South Korea has tested more than 140,000 for COVID-19 whereas the U.S. has only tested about 5,000 because of the lack of tests.  

Why aren’t there enough COVID-19 tests available in the U.S.? After all, we don’t have to invent a new test; tests already exist albeit in small numbers in the U.S. This lack of test availability is expected to last several more weeks. 

The short answer is the lack of preparation and poor execution by the federal government. The initial tests developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a technical problem — and federal officials were then too slow to find alternatives. 

President Trump’s Oval Office address did not reassure us that the federal government is up to the formidable task facing this country. Of course, Trump takes no responsibility for the federal governments bungled response to the pandemic. 

After the oval office address, the Dow Industrial Average suffered its worst drop since the 1987 “Black Monday” market crash. The S&P 500 also had its worst day since 1987, and the Nasdaq Composite closed 9.4% lower at 7,201.80.  

Former Vice President Joe Biden said that Trump should "just be quiet" about COVID-19 and suggested that the president's use of inaccurate information in discussing the outbreak has caused stocks to plummet. Good advice, but probably not well received by Trump.