A doctor from New Jersey on Thursday painted a dire picture of the current situation in his state’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic during an emotional interview with CNN’s John King.
During the interview, primary care physician Dr. Alexander Salerno said that he is still having trouble acquiring sufficient test kits, despite President Donald Trump’s boast weeks ago that anyone can get tested for COVID-19.
“The biggest issue right now are test kits,” he said. “We have the test tubes but we don’t have the swabs. A 3-cent swab is all we need to really truly identify positive cases and get the proper treatment in place so we can ease the burden to the hospitals. Primary care all starts out here in the trenches before we get to the hospital, but we can’t fight the war in the trenches when we’re given sticks and stones.”
Later in the interview he emphasized the importance of mass testing as a way to contain the virus and prevent it from overwhelming the health care system.
“We need to test everyone, not just those with symptoms,” he said. “This is the greatest country in the world, and we need test kits! We need test kits! These swabs test for the flu, they test for COVID virus, they test for typical upper respiratory panel viruses — there are no swabs. I’ve been working with the mayors of Newark and Orange, they are calling for swabs — there are no swabs! I called HHS and was put on hold for 40 minutes and disconnected. We need swabs!”
Watch the video below.
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