Not so fast –
Trump suggested some states may be ready to reopen soon, but experts disagree.
Beth Mole – Apr , : (PM UTC)
Yet, despite the unspecified timing in the guidelines, Trump still suggested that several states could begin reopening quickly — some “ literally tomorrow
Barry Bloom, a distinguished professor of public health at Harvard, offered some praise for the Trump administration’s plan overall. “It is quite a thoughtful plan,” he told reporters in a media call late Thursday night. He commended the plan’s phased nature, the continuation of some distancing measures, and its use of a data-driven timeline rather than hard deadlines.
William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard, largely echoed all the sentiments. “There is much to appreciate in this plan, including its stepwise thinking and its thoughtful nature.” But he added, “the glaring problem within it” remains the problem of testing.
Though it’s impossible to say exactly how much testing we should do or be able to do on a daily or weekly basis, Hanage notes that the World Health Organization suggests that country aim to do enough testing until only percent or less of tests come back positive. Currently, the US has a 20 percent positive rate overall. This is difficult to interpret, however, because different places have different levels of infection and access to and criteria for testing. For instance, places such as New York and New Jersey are swamped with cases — and positive test results — while others are experiencing more sporadic cases that spur less testing.
Further, we’re also woefully unprepared to do contact tracing, which is crucial to stopping transmission at the beginning or at the end of an outbreak. When asked if any state should feel confident about entering phase one of the Administration’s plan, Bloom responded “no.” Hanage supplemented the response: “Hell no!”
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