Senate may be starting to ask the right questions re: testing.

“Why do we have to have symptoms to get tested?”
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The Senate (but not the Congress) is scheduled to get back on the job this week.

Roughly half the senators are 65 or older … and, thus, officially in the coronavirus’ “vulnerable” group.

So, it’s understandable that they’re eager that all colleagues have a clean bill of health before returning to the Senate chambers.

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Here’s the rub…

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The Capitol’s attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, said that only senators who “present with” coronavirus symptoms qualify for coronavirus testing … and that “quick tests” aren’t available, so getting test results will take two to seven days. Source

Said differently:

No tests to ID the hidden carriers … the contagious asymptomatics who are infected but don’t exhibit the virus’ symptoms … and, who make up the vast majority of coronavirus infectees.

WSJ: “It’s Dangerous to Test Only the Sick”

If test kits are scarce, let’s test the right people!

Non-immediate test results … requiring “testees” to self-quarantine until the test results are available (or risk infecting others during the test-to-results period)

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Soon, the senators may even recognize some of the other holes in the current testing strategy and methods:

Point-in-time diagnoses … Given the high contagiousness of the coronavirus, you can test negative today and be infected tomorrow (maybe even before your test results are returned) … an initial across-the-board testing is necessary, but not sufficient … regular, periodic testing is required “surveille” the environment.

False negatives … A couple of weeks ago, the WSJ estimated that as many as 1/3 of symptomatic people who tested negative turned out to be infected (and were put back in circulation, potentially spreading the virus) … so far, the gov’t scientists haven’t provided evidence to the contrary

WSJ Shocker: 1 in 3 infected patients gets a ’false negative’ test result.

Dr. Birx was asked about the reported “false negatives”

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The above is the situation that every company is facing as it tries to ramp back up.

Welcome to our world, Senators.

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