US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — At a press conference on Thursday, March 12, Donald Trump said that coronavirus screening was “going very well”: “We do a lot of screenings. If an American or anyone comes back from abroad, we have a great screening, and the people who come back are tested. If it’s positive, they’re quarantined.”
In reality, no systematic screening has been implemented. Many people who have returned from countries at risk , in particular from Italy, say that they were not taken care of when they arrived in the United States.
Doctors and hospitals have great difficulty obtaining screening kits. However, on March 6, Donald Trump told the press that all Americans who wanted to be tested could be easily tested.
According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, the American health system is failing at this level: “The idea that anyone can easily get [a test] like in other countries, we are unable to offer this. Do I think we should have been ready? Yes. But this is not the case.”
While Italy screened about 49,000 people and South Korea 189,000, only 7,600 tests were done in the United States , for a population of 329 million people.
Screening is crucial to limit an epidemic: an individual who tests positive can then be isolated in order to limit the spread of the disease. However, since the first case of Covid-19 detected in the United States on January 20, the American government has fallen behind in the manufacture and distribution of screening kits.
In multiple cases reported in the media, people with symptoms of coronavirus could not be tested because they did not meet certain strict criteria. For example, in a Boston hospital, screening is only done if the patient returns from a risk area or knows that he has been in contact with someone infected.
Donald Trump never once mentioned the issue of screening in his speech on the coronavirus. The flagship measure he announced was to close the borders to passengers from Europe.
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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.