[guest post by Dana]
Given the lack of widely available coronavirus tests, NBC’s Peter Alexander asked President Trump why well-connected, yet asymptomatic individuals, are able to get tested for coronavirus, while the not well-connected are unable to do so:
“Do the well-connected go to the front of the line?”
“Well, you have to ask them that question,” Trump said. “I mean, I’ve read—.”
“Should that happen?” Alexander asked.
“No, I wouldn’t say so. But perhaps that’s been the story of life. That does happen on occasion and I’ve noticed where some people have been tested fairly quickly.”
He then blamed it on having inherited a very obsolete testing system and/or a system that wasn’t meant to handle the current volume of needed testing:
“No, I wouldn’t say so, but perhaps that’s been the story of life. That does happen on occasion,” President Trump says when if professional athletes without symptoms should be going to the front of the line in getting tested for coronavirus. https://t.co/piDsmnkG0y pic.twitter.com/zwStW3Jyd6
— ABC News (@ABC) March 18, 2020
Note: I know that non-symptomatic Utah Jazz players were tested after one player contracted the virus. Reports say that public health officials consider them “superspreaders” because of the number of people they are in contact with. Rishi Desai, who is the chief medical officer and pediatric infectious disease physician and also used to work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemic intelligence service officer, explained it this way:
He understands Oklahoma’s decision to test who it did. He called athletes, team personnel and traveling reporters “super spreaders,” people who are often in direct contact with several other people especially in arenas with thousands of people.
“The average person is not exposing as many other people as a super spreader… Whenever there’s an outbreak and you know you have these potential super spreaders who have the potential to be around a lot of people, you want to really get on top of that situation.”
Exit question: Shouldn’t doctors and nurses, and first responders and health care workers be considered “super spreaders” of sorts, given the large number of people they are in direct contact with – including infected people? That way they could get the testing they need, and the testing that we need them to have in order to ensure, not only their well-being but our safety too.