October 22 2020

I watched the documentary Totally Under Control the other night. It points out the well-known story that the CDC messed up the SARS-CoV-2 tests they tried to introduce, and that slowed down the US response in a horrible way.

Well, we have known that for a long time, but what the doc added was that there were three components to the test, called N1, N2, and N3. The N3 component was the one that was messed up, and the N3 component was unnecessary. So the actual botch-up was that they did not modify the emergency use authorization (EUA) to allow people to not use the N3. A step that could have taken like, a day. All this drama, and that’s all that it would have taken.

How come nobody’s talking about this?

This is a story I found from May 19—but it certainly wasn’t a kind of story that was well known!

For more than 2 weeks, state labs were told they couldn’t use the CDC’s coronavirus tests — but the tests could have been used all along

“In a public-health emergency, it’s kind of ironic that all the states had a test that worked. They just didn’t have a protocol that worked,” Alex Greninger, the assistant director of the University of Washington Medicine Clinical Virology Laboratory, told Business Insider. “What changed was they just said, don’t use that reagent.”

The story about the reagent is a little bit different than the story about N3, but it sounds like it amounts to the same thing.

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© Alexander Feller 2018