Historians will Point to the Lack of Test Kits for the Wuhan Virus as to What Allowed it to Gain a Beachhead in the United States — This is Who Needs to be Fired, Right Now
There is really no understating the damage that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC’s) decision to use the Wuhan virus crisis to insist on a highly complicated version of a test that repeatedly failed and wasted months of time that resulted in the test kit shortage nationwide, that forced state and local officials to ration testing for only the sickest.
This, of course, meant those with mild symptoms or those in contact with the sickest could not all be tested. Those positive, therefore, were unknown and not quarantined before they infected others.
That is what the lack of test kits has wrought.
Furthermore, over the next few days, as a surge of test kits become available, there will be a surge of positive test results.
If you are looking for a historic parallel, here is one I hope is wrong. At the start of World War II, there was what was called the period of the ‘phony war.’ Countries had declared war against each other and did nothing. This lasted for months. The parallel is that there is a ‘phony war’ where CDC and others insist they are taking it seriously and doing everything they can, when they, in fact, have created a situation where they point to the lack of infected Americans and say, “don’t worry,” while the only reason there are few new infections is because there are no test kits.
This is the Phony Wuhan Virus War period where CDC says they are fighting, but really, they are responsible for blinding the national pandemic surveillance system with no test kits.
When the availability of the test kits is restored — assuming the supply will actually arrive in the states and to local authorities over the next few days as we have been told — those tests will tell the tale of the degree to which this has spread in the community, or not.
Regardless, over the next few weeks, it will become very clear that the lack of testing kits is the single most disastrous and incompetent aspect of the CDC’s response to the Wuhan virus.
Other than the “we-will-use-the-Wuhan-crisis-to-force-the-creation-of-a-Cadillac-test-kit” and the crisis-tone-deaf-myopic-and-culpable-scientists and administrators at CDC, the blame is falling on Health and Human Services too, according to Politico:
Numerous problems with the Trump administration’s testing regimen have come to light: Coronavirus tests developed by CDC were flawed, possibly because the lab itself was contaminated. The resulting lack of test capacity forced U.S. officials to screen a limited number of patients in January and February, with the CDC testing fewer than 500 Americans at the same time that China was likely testing at least 1 million of its own residents. Meanwhile, public health officials had no fallback testing option until the Food and Drug Administration granted approval for hospitals and other labs to develop their own homegrown tests on Saturday — more than six weeks after the first U.S. case of coronavirus was identified.
If the spread of the Wuhan virus is towards the worst-case scenario, then the two who should immediately lose their jobs are:
- Acting Secretary Chad Wolf — Wolf’s incompetence and lack of preparation and knowledge when testifying before Republicans in the Senate was so embarrassing and inaccurate that it gave the public the distinct impression Wolf both did not have a clue about the basic facts of the situation and did not care enough to learn them. His answers feed the narrative that the Trump administration is not taking this seriously and is not prepared. He needs to be fired immediately just on general principle and as a warning to others.
- Robert R. Redfield, MD, Head of the CDC — The head of the CDC is directly responsible for the disastrous and life-threatening situation of having only some 500 test kits available nationwide (ten test kits per state, but CDC held many for themselves to test the sickest, meaning there were not ten test kits per state) for the months of January and February, likely guaranteeing unknown Wuhan virus community spread to gain a foothold. The decision to push for a more complicated home-grown and ultimately repeatedly failed test is directly on the shoulders of the head of the CDC. Further, in a decision that makes the basic political and crisis judgment of the CDC highly suspect, if true, is that the CDC may have contracted foreign companies to manufacture the new test kits. If there is one basic rule of thumb in any pandemic, it is to have the test for the pathogen made in your own country and to have multiple and redundant domestic manufacturing capabilities. Of course, the fact that American hospitals had to rely on Chinese manufacturers for pandemic protective gear (which was in transit on many freighters in the Pacific Ocean when the Chinese government recalled the ships because China needed the gear) is another glaring failure of basic understanding of essential equipment supply chain fundamentals during a pandemic. So is having the 3M N-95 manufacturing plant taken over by the Chinese military and all mask exports to the U.S. canceled. It is for this lack of understanding and complacency of the foreign supply chain for essential pandemic supplies, plus, the disastrous and brain-dead CDC push for a complicated, overly sciencey test that betrays CDC’s basic lack of understanding about the Wuhan virus and the basics of a pandemic supply chain in a crisis — and let us not forget the CDC’s role in enabling an unknown degree of community spread, as they publicly insist they are doing all they can while playing hide the ball on all the details above. For all of the foregoing, Redfield should be fired, immediately.
Ultimately, the CDC’s decision on test kits and the performance by Wolf in the Senate — as well as what is becoming glaringly clear naivete and pollyanna views about essential equipment supply chain realities in a pandemic, are feeding and will feed a narrative that will be far more devastating politically in the weeks that come, as the Wuhan virus spreads in the United States.
News, last night, that New York has asked 1,000 people in Westchester county to self-quarantine begins to foreshadow what we hope will not happen across the country, but the lack of test kits in January and February will be directly responsible for if self-quarantining goes widescreen within urban centers of the United States.
President Trump should fire Wolf and Redfield right now because both Wolf and Redfield deserve and need to be fired.
The White House needs to bolster public confidence now before test results make public confidence weaker.
It really does not matter if Redfield and Wolf are fired now.
Should community spread of the Wuhan virus become evident and widescreen over the next weeks, Trump will have no choice but to fire them.
Their firing will become unavoidable, overdue and necessary.
If they had any sense of responsibility and honor, they would both resign now.
And to insult to the test kit injury, the Chinese communist press is bragging that their test kits — made in Wuhan — have been given international approval and acceptance.