America has basically run out of tests for Covid-19 as lines are forming at emergency rooms, urgent care facilities and doctor’s offices, and now patients are simply being turned away nationwide.
This comes as the Institutes for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) project an estimated 1.9 million probable Covid infections in the U.S per day — and rising. By the end of January, IHME estimates as many as 2.8 million new cases per day, largely thanks to the new omicron variant.
For perspective, last year, IHME estimated cases peaked at over 500,000 a day in early Jan. 2021.
President Joe Biden let this happen. On Dec. 2, he promised, “this winter we are going to make free at-home tests more available to Americans than ever before. To better detect and control the Delta variant, I made testing more available, affordable, and convenient. I used the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid tests, including at-home tests.”
But not nearly enough. At a peak of 500,000 cases per day, perhaps the amount of tests the U.S. produced would have been enough. But not at 1.9 million and soon 2.8 million a day.
On the other hand this was very much predictable as a contingency. But the only way to have anticipated this outcome would have been a skeptical policy that brought contingencies into play in case the vaccines were not as effective at containing variants.
Instead the Biden administration put all its eggs in the vaccine basket, and policy makers never considered: Even if it reduces the lethality of the virus, what if the vaccine on its own doesn’t stop the spread?
Why, that would mean we would have needed more tests. A lot more. And more treatments. And more prudence, so that those most vulnerable to adverse outcomes are now given priority for testing until supplies are boosted.
Now, if you want to go to school, or to work, everyone needs a test. Without enough tests, that policy was always going to fail.
In March 2020, when Covid was brand new and there was not enough testing, the mainstream media and Washington, D.C. established waged a propaganda war against former President Donald Trump urging more testing — that did not yet exist. Within several months, a testing regime was finally put into place.
Where is the outrage now? Workers and parents with children are now left guessing if they have Covid and if it is safe to travel, go to work or school. This is beyond being inconvenienced. For those unfortunate enough to have a poor outcome to Covid, they probably won’t find out they need treatment until they’ve already been sick for a week or so.
The good news is that thanks to the vaccines, treatments and other precautions taken by the American people, the overall death rate of Covid continues to drop substantially.
In April 2020, per IHME projections, peak cases per day was projected to be 161,000, and peak death per day was about 2,300, about a 1.4 percent fatality rate.
By July 2020, with better treatments, the summer surge in cases was 164,000 per day at the peak, and 1,150 dead per day at the peak, and so the apparent fatality rate dropped to 0.7 percent.
By Dec. 2020, cases had peaked at 504,000 per day, and death peaked a month later at 3,406, a 0.67 percent fatality rate.
By September 2021, cases were peaking at 400,000 per day, and death peaked at about 2,000 per day, a 0.5 percent fatality rate.
Now, with omicron, IHME says there will be 2.8 million cases per day by the end of January, and the death is currently projected to reach 2,079, dropping the fatality rate to just 0.07 percent.
So, if nothing else, the vaccines have bought us a year to a less deadly variant. With so many more cases, still more testing and more treatments will be needed.
Rapid testing would lead to rapid treatments. But those are being rationed, too. According to the Surgeon General of Florida, Dr. Joseph Labado, stating, “The federal government is actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S. The sudden suspension of multiple monoclonal antibody therapy treatments from distribution to Florida removes a health care provider’s ability to the best treatment options for their patients in this state.”
So, not enough tests, not enough treatments.
To add insult to injury, Congress has allocated hundreds of billions of dollars the past two years for Covid tests and treatments, and still there’s not enough. The Biden administration has been more concerned about censoring Covid vaccine dissent on social media than in providing an all of the above approach that would have anticipated predictable contingencies like cases increasing.
Now, for those will suffer this month, it’s probably too late, and many will only find out they’re sick when they get to the hospital.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
This post, Joe Biden failed. America runs out of Covid tests as IHME now estimates 1.9 million new Covid infections a day in Jan. 2022., was originally published on The Daily Torch.