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To Test, Or Not To Test … That Is The Question

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To Test, Or Not To Test … That Is The Question

To Test, Or Not To Test … That Is The Question
March 17
17:03 2020

If you follow the news, you will be told that the key to mitigating the Coronavirus is testing.  As House Speaking Nancy Pelosi said, it is “testing, testing, testing.”

Much of the criticism of the handling of the pandemic has been the shortage of test kits.  How serious the shortage may be is ENTIRELY dependent on how many people need to be tested.  President Trump was roundly criticized in the press for saying that people who need to be tested are being tested.

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In the spirit that everything Trump says or does is to be severely and repeatedly criticized, the major media has left the impression that EVERYONE needs to be tested – and anyone who feels that they want to be tested should be.

The media criticized Trump for not being tested.  When he was, they criticized him for waiting too long.  If he had the virus – which was extremely doubtful – he could be infecting others.

One of the media fearmongers suggested that Trump could get infected AFTER the test.  So, we should get tested regularly.  That theory – advanced by a media talking head – could be applied to everyone who gets tested and proven negative.

To give you an idea how many that might be, the data from South Korea – where 290,000 people were tested – more than 98 percent of the results were negative.  Should those 290,000 people be tested again … and again … and again?

The idea that everyone in America should get tested is nonsense.  The idea that every panicked person in America should be able to be tested at will is more nonsense.

So, who should be tested?

We are told that we should be listening to medical professionals.  There is no greater authority in the country than Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force appointed by Trump.

He puts it quite simply.  The ONLY people who need to be tested are those “showing symptoms.”  That’s it.  According to the best medical expertise, we do not need to be tested just because we may have encountered an infected person.

Allow me to repeat that because it is essential to avoiding public panic and unrealistic expectations from the government and our leading medical authorities.  You do not need to be tested unless you are showing symptoms.

What medical authorities are saying that you might wonder?  None other than the preeminent Dr. Fauci.

In a recent interview on CNN, Dr. Fauci was asked whether he had been tested.  He said “no” – because he is not showing any symptoms.  And remember, he is well over 60 years old – that supposed high-risk group.  “I am not showing any symptoms,” he explained.

When shown a photo of him and Trump touching the same microphone – and Trump had been in the company of someone with the Coronavirus – Dr. Fauci said, “Get serious.”  The good doctor had previously said that it was up to the White House physician to advise Trump to get tested if necessary – but from what Dr. Fauci knew, there was no need.  Trump was eventually tested, but it seemed more based on media pressure than medical advice.

Dr. Fauci had previously tried to explain to the media that just being over 60 – and even having some of the underlying symptoms – is not a death certificate for seniors contracting the virus.  The vast majority will survive.  It is very critical for those of more advanced years AND with advanced chronic diseases – those already teetering on the edge of eternity – to be tested and protected by extraordinary measures.  The evidence of that was seen in Seattle where so many of the deaths occurred in a final-care facility.

It is fair to say that we were a bit short of test kits at the onset.  You can blame Trump.  You can blame the Center for Disease Control.  We were not fully prepared for the unexpected.  But all this hindsight criticism serves no public purpose – and tends to stoke the political passions and public panic.

Though I am a septuagenarian with a few of those underlying diseases, I am not symptomatic.   I am also not paranoid or panicked.  Therefore, I will not be trying to use up a test kit that might be NEEDED by someone else.  I am simply doing what we are told is best – following doctors’ instructions.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. Lionel
    Lionel March 18, 19:38


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  2. Phil in TX
    Phil in TX March 20, 20:54

    I am 72, retired and live alone. I have allergies and we are coming into the peak of allergy season. I expect to have a runny nose and sneeze frequently. I go through this every year and have for the last 40 years or so. In the part of Texas where I live this is referred to as “Cedar fever” due to the large numbers of Cedar trees in the area. This year it has been wet and rainy which has mitigated this somewhat. However, the Oak, Elm, Hackberry and soon the Pecan trees will cause problems for me as well. I DO NOT have a fever with the other symptoms. I have none of the other symptoms of Covid-19, so I will not get tested unless my primary care physician recommends it.
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Pelosi!

    Phil in TX

    Reply to this comment

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