Harvard expert: US would have a ‘very different situation’ with earlier testing, lockdowns


The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute on Wednesday said that if earlier coronavirus testing and lockdowns had taken place in the United States, “we clearly would have had a different situation.”

Ashish Jha, the institute’s director, praised White House task force members Anthony Fauci, an epidemiologist who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah Birx, a physician leading the task force’s coronavirus response, in an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” and said he had “no interest in contradicting them.” 

“But I don’t know any public health expert who does not believe that if we had gotten our testing together, if we had gotten our hospitals ready, if we had communicated and gotten a lot of our lockdown orders going much earlier,” we would have had “a different situation,” he said. 

“We clearly would have,” he added.

The director also commented on the continued struggle to get testing across the U.S., saying it is “still a problem in many states.”

“A lot of states that look like they don’t have a lot of cases, aren’t doing a lot of testing,” he said. “So, I’m not actually convinced that they don’t have a lot of cases.” 

“They just aren’t testing people and if you aren’t testing people you are not going to be finding cases,” he added. 

President Trump and his administration have faced a number of critics who say they did not respond fast enough to the coronavirus outbreak that has now infected more than 189,700 people and killed 4,090 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

But the administration has regularly pointed its finger at China, saying the country was not transparent about the disease it first began dealing with in December. 

Trump has also defended testing in the U.S., saying it was “very much on par” with other countries.

But governors and public health officials have contradicted that, saying the U.S.’s testing per capita has struggled to keep up with other nation’s testing rates.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus coronavirus lockdowns Coronavirus testing COVID-19 Donald Trump hospitals
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