Testing Tactics

The US should spend $75 billion to fix its COVID-19 testing debacle, STAT reports, citing the verdict of a bipartisan panel of experts brought together by the Rockefeller Foundation.

The foundation also calls for a national testing strategy and suggests steps like ramping up access to different types of tests in the committee’s report, published today.

Testing is “the legitimate way out of the conundrum of either having tens of thousands, now hundreds of thousands, of Americans die of Covid-19 or having a lockdown that forces economic pain,” says Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

And consider this: shutdowns cost the US an estimated $300-400 billion a month, according to report co-author Paul Romer.

Rwanda Gets It

While far wealthier countries struggle to deliver tests, Rwanda’s vowed to identify every coronavirus case—sometimes pulling people over randomly on the streets to get the job done, writes Jason Beaubien.

“So whenever someone is driving a vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or even walking, everyone is asked if you wish to get tested,” says Sabin Nsanzimana, director general of the Rwanda Biomedical Center.

The testing is voluntary, says Nsanzimana, “although some others say refusal is frowned upon,” Beaubien reports.

The country, which is doing pool testing in batches, provides all testing and treatment for the virus for free.

NPR’s Goats and Soda

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