‘We have a pandemic out of control,’ public health expert says | PBS NewsHour

Carlos del Rio:

Well, there’s a lot of things that could have been done. And it is always difficult to play Monday-morning quarterback.

But there is still opportunity to do something. There are several things. Number one, we never had a national strategy. We have had — each state has had their own strategy. And, as a result of that, it is really hard to fight a pandemic with 50 different plans.

Number two, we have never had a coordinated approach in looking what we are going to do. So, for example, having a mask mandate across the country, yes, would be difficult, but not impossible. And it’s something that could certainly be coordinated.

As you’re having more or less cases in a community, you can decide what exactly, what interventions you need to do.

Our testing system has not worked well. You still have people — despite having a lot of tests, we still have people that cannot get test results within 24 hours and are waiting four to five days. And, again, if you wait for a test result for that long, a lot more infections are happening.

And our contact tracing is totally broken down. We have not done contact tracing appropriately. And then, finally, I would say that we really are focusing too much on not doing things that need to be done. We’re just saying, let’s open the community and let’s let the virus run, when some things need to be done, for example, avoiding crowded places, avoiding indoor settings, certain things that could be done to prevent the widespread events that we know are important and the super-spreading events in this pandemic.

And that has been not well-coordinated, and that has had consequences as a result of that.

And I have talked to colleagues in Europe. And the colleagues in Europe recognize the mistakes they made. They made the mistakes that I think we are all making, which is, number one, people are tired of the pandemic, right?

There’s COVID fatigue. So, when we locked down initially to prevent cases from going up, people thought that that would be enough to control the virus, but they didn’t realize that the moment you let go of restrictions, if you don’t put in place masking and social distancing and other non-pharmacological measures, the virus is going to come back and it’s going to spread very rapidly.

And by the time you have a wide spread of the virus, it’s really hard to control. So they made the same mistakes that we’re making, and without — again, Europe is much like the United States. It’s not one bloc, but it’s multiple countries doing different things that have not been really well-coordinated.

This content was originally published here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *