On Monday, Politico walked through the numerous errors made by U.S. public health officials in response to the coronavirus outbreak — many of which have almost certainly made the spread of the disease worse.
“A whistleblower has accused HHS of sending workers without training or protective gear to greet people being evacuated from China and quarantined in the U.S. after possible exposure to the virus. Administration officials say they followed protocol,” wrote Brianna Ehley. “The California patient who presented coronavirus symptoms wasn’t tested for an entire week because the person had no known exposure or travel history — criteria the CDC relied upon when deciding whom to test. That patient was later confirmed to be the first case of potential community spread in the U.S., possibly unknowingly exposing countless others to the virus.”
Meanwhile, “In San Diego, a woman who had been evacuated from China and hospitalized was declared free of the virus and allowed to return to the evacuees’ quarantine quarters because of a mix-up that meant her samples weren’t even tested. By the time doctors diagnosed her, she could have exposed others.”
These types of mistakes, wrote Ehley, “could already have allowed the virus to outpace the attempts to stop it.”
While President Donald Trump has not helped the matter by sending the public mixed signals, some level of mistakes were inevitable. And with that in mind, said former Centers for Disease Control director Tom Frieden, the most important thing is transparency.
“It’s very important to tell people what you know and when you know it,” said Frieden.
You can read more here.