Doctor on Fox News Lays Out How Unprepared U.S. Was For Coronavirus: ‘We’ve Had a Very Weak Response’
An infectious disease physician appeared on Fox News and laid out how the United States botched its early response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum interviewed Dr. Rishi Desai shortly after President Donald Trump’s daily press conference with the White House coronavirus task force.
MacCallum asked Desai about his call for mass testing to stop the spread of the virus, noting tests are not yet widely available, “but they’re working on it.”
“Yeah, they’re working on it. They should have been working on it for months,” Desai replied.
The doctor noted the World Health Organization was aware of the virus on December 31st 2019. “So last year we knew about this,” he said. “We knew coronavirus was coming, we knew it was a respiratory disease, and we knew it was person-to-person.” [Fact check: see update below]
“Why is it that it is this week that the FDA finally approved these new Abbott lab testing?” he continued. “Which, by the way, was one test at a time. It’s a great test but it’s one test at a time. It’s different from the labs that are doing mass testing.”
“It’s wonderful but it’s not the same volume that you need,” he continued. “We needed this months ago. You look at Korea, South Korea and the U.S. had their first official confirmed case on the same date: January 19th. Since January 19th, you look at what South Korea did and what we did. Their population is 1/6th of ours, look at the cases they have, look at the mortality they have.”
“It’s a trifle compared to what we’re dealing with right now because we had a very weak response and they had a very strong response,” Desai said.
Watch above, via Fox News.
UPDATE: Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler points out that Desai is wrong on one point: the World Health Organization did not know that the coronavirus was person-to-person as far back as December 2019.
When I retweeted this I focused on his comment on testing vis a vis South Korea. But the first part of his statement is wrong — while some doctors suspected human-to human transmission in Dec, that was covered up by China for weeks and falsely broadcast by the WHO as no problem https://t.co/QSMrYdQZIT
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 2, 2020
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