This is the first hopeful story we’ve gotten to write since March. It’s 7500 words about the huge, fraught plans to return the country to something like normalcy through massive amounts of cheap, fast testing.
1. I'm enthusiastic about the prospect of cheap, fast, at-home paper strip COVID tests for daily proactive screening. To get the most out of them, we need to start thinking now about issues around incentives and individuals behavior.
Important piece on immediate-result paper tests for COVID. Too often, media describes them as "less accurate." Wrong framework! They're useful in detecting contagiousness—not mere presence of virus which can show up in PCRs for weeks. Exactly what we need.
This is a phenomenal article on the potential of different sorts of testing, and the ways that we are limited by demands for sensitivity and specificity. There's one important thing it misses out, which I will come to later in this thread 1/n
This is a terrific in depth piece on how to get out from this virus’ terrible death grip with #COVID19 testing approaches that will allow us to act in real time to stop transmission in its tracks. By
Rapid diagnostic tests for #SARSCoV2, our exit strategy in waiting. It's the best piece yet on this vital topic, by and , just out
This is an incredibly important story that I urge you to read. By and , who've been at the very forefront of our pandemic coverage.
I’ve been covering COVID-19 testing with for the last six months. We’ve kept coming back to the same questions: Why is testing still broken in America? Can it be fixed? Should we even try to fix it now? This is our attempt at an answer
I thought I knew a lot about testing already but I learned much more from 's latest long-read piece. Not just about the next wave but also why PCR tests are so limited (it's about dead virus cells lining your nasal cavity).
"Test nearly everyone, nearly every day" New and opus on the scientists, economists, and dreamers with a plan to out-volume the virus.
There’s new hope for fixing coronavirus testing in the U.S. After months of devastating shortfalls, a set of new tools and daring ideas could provide millions of tests a day and let us return to normal life, and report
Prime yourself for tomorrow's seminar by (), "an evangelist for a total revolution in how the U.S. controls the pandemic," with his plan to reboot the country with rapid #COVID testing at :
How to Test Every American for COVID-19, Every Day - The Atlantic
#COVID19 contagiousness tests can crush the pandemic, save lives and reopen the economy/schools. The FDA stands in the way of these at home $1-$2 tests. #RapidTestsNow
Whoa, Biden says in his speech that his admin will “develop and deploy” rapid tests “with results available immediately.” Sounds exactly like ’s plan, which and I wrote about last week
There’s new hope for fixing coronavirus testing in the U.S. After months of devastating shortfalls, a set of new tools and daring ideas could provide millions of tests a day and let us return to normal life, and report
Coronavirus testing is on the brink of a revolution. and , two of the most essential voices on testing, explain the plan that could change the course of this pandemic. This is a big one
For more info on those kinds of rapidtests, you can check out (linked below) or read this wonderful piece that covers all of this by in the Atlantic To sum up... 23/
This latest from & was really helpful for me. It’s a deep dive into dimensions of the #SARSCoV2 testing problem that I didn’t realize I’d been unclear on. Grounds for some hope - worth a careful & complete weekend read
Since I'm not going to write about rapid, cheap, home testing for #COVID19 this week -- I know, shock -- read instead this comprehensive report from and . Can't come soon enough. #RapidTestsNow
If the government treated tests like it does vaccines, then we might be able to get back to something like normal life soon. We could reopen schools, offices, restaurants, and more. Your day might look a little like this: (21/n)
The problem now isn’t that the US was too late to make PCR tests in February. It’s that we’ve strained the world’s capacity to run PCR tests at all. Supply chains are snapping. There have been global runs on chemical reagents, even pipette tips. (5/n)
If we want a chance at finding ppl b4 they infect others, we need very frequent testing - one reason I and others have been calling for new approaches to testing, using cheap, rapid tests for infectiousness. 14/17
Essential reading from and on what needs to happen for us to get back to a version of post-pandemic normal.
2) Rapid antigen testing is described as “The plan that could give our lives back”. Leading advocate is Harvard epidemiologist Dr Michael Mina . He believes if we need to deploy millions of antigen tests to epidemic hotspots.
I’ve been covering COVID testing with since March. It’s been a story of failure after failure. But lately something has changed. New tools are at hand. A group of experts thinks we could soon test millions a day. There is a way out.
"Let’s say, for instance, that you wanted to test everyone in the U.S. once a week. That’s 45 million tests a day. How can we get there?" and report on a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaccine is found.
It has been making it out here and there over the past couple of months. Here is a terrific article by
"Let’s say, for instance, that you wanted to test everyone in the U.S. once a week. That’s 45 million tests a day. How can we get there?" and report on a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaccine is found.
Testing czar is on saying "if there is a way to turn [testing] from 1 million to 5 million today, let me know." HELLO, HAS a rapid testing plan and & wrote about it!!
18/ This plan for daily quick tests was most recently written up in a story in The Atlantic by & “The wand that will accomplish this feat is a thin paper strip, no longer than a finger.”
This is the realistic plan to end the pandemic soon, rather than at some unspecified point in the future. We need cheap, rapid, at-home testing for all. The feds must pivot to this strategy—at the very least, the FDA should get out of the way.
The FDA also discouraged investment here. Because it compares all new tests to gold-standard PCR tests, it’s hard for firms to bring new (and less accurate) experimental tests to market, even if they’re meant to answer different questions than PCR: (15/n)
The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back. The U.S. has never had enough coronavirus tests. Now a group of epidemiologists, economists, and dreamers is plotting a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaccine is found.
Why has the US failed at testing? Not numbers, but within meaningful time frame? This piece by reads like first draft of real STS-style history. You gotta start by asking what makes a viable test. Its all about PCR!
'Mina is a professor of epidemiology at Harvard (...) By early March, that conviction was in crisis. “The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect,” he told The New York Times. His astonishment has only intensified since.'
Can we please have this? or are we still not allowed to have nice things?
Testing asymptomatics is crucial to stopping the pandemic. As has suggested this could be done with inexpensive, rapid antigen tests, while saving PCR assays for clinical diagnosis. 4/
What is #FFCE (Fast, Frequent, Cheap, and Easy) testing, and how might it work to end the #COVID19 plague and give us our lives back to boot? Read about it here, and discussion with on it
The US. has never had enough #coronavirus tests. Now a group of epidemiologists, economists, and dreamers is plotting a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaccine is found. By & in . #testing #FFCE
“The only thing that makes a difference in the economy is public health, and the only thing that makes a difference in public health is testing” Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund
"To fix testing, the federal government must do exactly what it has declined to do so far." Putting aside potentially significant operational issues, that really is the rub for any moonshot testing plan to solve the Covid-19 crisis in the U.S.
Fantastic piece (as ever) from ⁦⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ on how we can test, not vaccinate, our way out of this pandemic, if only we could muster a national response and fund innovation and production at scale.
It really feels like we are on the cusp of having a meaningful testing regime to suppress the virus. The science and engineering are close. The public-private tools are there. The funding is not insurmountable. What needs to happen?
The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back
Really important & informative #LongRead on the testing logjam & various ways to break it. Too many important points to quote, go read it.
This rocked me: "About twice as many Americans have been infected with the coronavirus as have contracted HIV since 1981." Is 5 million a lot or a little? From the excellent testing article in by &
"Mass-producing a cheap thing fast is, as it happens, something the United States is very good at, and something this country has done before." Was good at. Is? We'll see. Nevertheless, a rare hopeful take.
"There’s new hope for fixing coronavirus testing in the U.S. After months of devastating shortfalls, a set of new tools and daring ideas could provide millions of tests a day and let us return to normal life, and report:"
This. So much this. “In other words: Mina wants to test nearly everyone, nearly every day.” This is not hard. While vaccine development is (so far) a bright spot, how did the world fail this testing test so badly?
Test, test, and test some more #COVID19
Test early and often! A different approach focusing on scale and (early) timing: After months of devastating shortfalls, new tools could provide millions of tests a day and let us approach normal life, and report
Why would anyone have gotten the idea that a negative antigen test means you’re not contagious...
Good overview of how to do mass testing. However every option for mass testing according to this article requires a large federal investment and/or Truman act powers that seem impossible to imagine the Trump admin doing.
Breakthrough - new tools: #testing is key2 economic re-opening & #publichealth to control #covid19 #pandemic See: Yale’s rapid #COVID-19 #Saliva #test got FDA emergency use authorization And report from
"If the new proposals make anything clear, it’s that it is in our power to have an abundance of tests within months—and to return life to normal, or something close to it, even before a vaccine is found. There is a way out of the pandemic."
Must-read dive into the perverse political & market incentives that have mired better testing technologies in regulatory hurdles at every step, despite their crucial potential for controlling the pandemic (most likely even after a vaccine is developed).
I only wanted to read the first few paragraphs of this piece by and to get the gist and tell a stupid joke on twitter. But it dragged me in. Awesome work. Read it.
“The only thing that makes a difference in the economy is public health, and the only thing that makes a difference in public health is testing.”
Joining the parade. This is a great article, makes a convincing case for WIDE antigen testing, 's moonshot It's even better than my wish list bec/it doesn't detect RNA from dead virus when a person is no longer contagious. FDA: make it so!
Spit tests are the ARGO floats of disease monitoring. Cheap, ubiquitous, and slightly random--but they'll change the game.
Inexpensive, less accurate, but ubiquitous testing is a promising path out of COVID. FDA needs to get out of the way and feds need to fund. Something for everyone.
The Plan That Cud Give Us Our Lives Back: The U.S. has never had enough #coronavirus tests. Now a group of epidemiologists, economists & dreamers is plotting a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaxx is found via &
/2 e25 test looks promising, per BUT "FDA compares every test to PCR, & no antigen test, however advanced, can stand up to the accuracy & sensitivity of the PCR technique. “ FDA wants 80% sensitivity compared w/PCR gold standard. Need to change that?