Virus testing is 'failing,' leaving cases uncounted: National Institutes of Health expert
NEW YORK - Seven weeks have passed since the first U.S. case of coronavirus was announced, and the government is failing to account for what could be thousands of additional infections because of ongoing problems with testing.
"The system is not really geared to what we need right now," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health. "That is a failing. It is a failing, let's admit it."
The effort initially was hobbled by delays in getting testing kits out to public health labs, but the stumbles have continued, leading scientists to conclude that the virus has taken root in more places than government officials say.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health. "
U.S. health officials, for example, promised nearly a month ago to tap into a national network of labs that monitor for flu. That system is only just getting started.
Large-scale testing is a critical part of tracking the spread of infectious diseases and allocating resources for treatment. The lack of comprehensive figures means
U.S. health providers could quickly be overwhelmed by undetected cases.