LETTER: Coronavirus facts as seen by Destin doctor
Coronavirus testing needs to go up by 350,000 per day for the US to reopen, Harvard researchers say. We are presently at 150,000 per day.
The research on the testing shortfall was done by Dr. Ashish Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Thomas Tsai, researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Benjamin Jacobson, research assistant at the Harvard Global Health Institute.
And the number of positive tests must also be much lower, the researchers said. In the US, 20% of those tested for coronavirus get positive results. The World Health Organization has said that to reopen, that number should be between 3% to 12%.
Testing is crucial to determine who's infected and a risk to others. Testing insufficiency stemmed from contamination the CDC not adhering to its own protocols, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
The US Roosevelt provided a clinically sound way to determine the number of people carrying the virus who are asymptomatic — 60%. The virus is given off as an aerosal and lingers in the air for 3 hours. Wearing a mask reduces the spread of the disease by as much as 5 % as compared to 70% and yet most people do not wear masks.
Most Republicans and Democrats do not want to open too quickly. I do not know why politicians refuse to make decisions based on science.
The greatest generation made incredible sacrifices for us. Asking people to wait a few more weeks does not seem like such a sacrifice. As a physician, I do not want to have one more person die alone if it is preventable.
Deborah R. Simkin, M.D., Destin