How The U.S. Fell Dangerously Behind In Coronavirus Testing

Mar 28, 2020
1 465 949 Views

The deadly coronavirus pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks, and exposed a weak spot in the United States’ preparedness for a public health emergency. Experts say aggressive diagnostic testing is essential in order to learn where and how an epidemic spreads. But in the critical first weeks of the outbreak in the U.S., one problem after another prevented doctors, clinics, and labs around the country from testing enough people. Patients in America were being sent home as hospitals rationed their test supply, while other countries like South Korea found a way to test hundreds of thousands of people quickly. Now, the U.S. is months behind in understanding the true scope of the virus. Testing capacity is finally ramping up, but is it too late?
Produced by: Arielle Berger and Jordan Smith
Written by: Arielle Berger
Senior Producer: Jeff Morganteen
Graphics by: Jason Reginato
Additional Footage: Getty Images
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How The U.S. Fell Dangerously Behind In Coronavirus Testing

  • Probably most likely to get infected from the testing, People in their cars being tested by the tester wearing the same gloves over and over sorry, but that doesn't make sense to me!

    joe franjoe fran7 days ago
  • Alarming numbers . Be safe and God Bless

    Fashion3K- True Style Never Dies!Fashion3K- True Style Never Dies!18 days ago
  • As of Friday night, the WHO's official Twitter account still featured a tweet from Jan. 14 that stated: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China."

    Optimistic OutreachOptimistic Outreach23 days ago
  • It is an outrageous that with all the advances, the knowledge and technologies in the medical fields we "already have at our disposable. For God sakes we even put a man on the moon. Yet we don't have tests available for individuals to get tested, to stop the spread of this vicious virus that is taking lives in the hundreds per day. Please, please, please I am asking nicely... How can this be? P.s. though I have a theory, as to why the government is so eager to open the economy and not assist in stopping this virus from killing people.

    L.EL.E23 days ago
  • You are now getting (average) 20,000 new cases EVERY DAY and (average) 1500 deaths EVERY DAY --- Average per month 30 days = 45000 deaths/month - America M.A.G.A MAKE AMERICA a GRAVEYARD AGAIN! America you should be so proud of yourselves

    sadsad25 days ago
    • America has the highest number of tests conducted. That's why their numbers are the highest.

      UlikemynameUlikemyname7 days ago
  • I‘m in Germany, and we are so lucky here. I work in hospital, and our employer provides the testing. We are being tested every 5 days, if we have symptoms we can also come in between. I just go there, ring a bell, then someone comes, checks my insurance card and does the test. Just takes five minutes, no appointment or anything, I never had to wait. And our health insurance pays for it. Our employer wants us to stay healthy, because we have paid sick leave for up to six weeks. And if we get sick and pass the virus on to our colleagues, he will have a problem. I like our system and don’t understand why some people in the US call it socialism

    Mathilde WesendonckMathilde Wesendonck26 days ago
  • I learned quite a lot from watching this particular video of ones own. Everything I understood ended up being known and Good Assistance. Thanks You. Best Mask. Specification: Condition: 100% brand new Material: Non-woven Fabrics Color: Blue Package Weight: Approx. 35g Size: Approx. 17.5 * 9cm / 6.9 * 3.5inch For More Information Pls click this link-

    alamine mannanalamine mannanMonth ago
  • Wtf does all this testing have to do with reopening the country?....

    Corek BleedingHollowCorek BleedingHollowMonth ago
  • 펄럭

    genchickengenchickenMonth ago
  • If you still think America has the best health care system in the world, then you are more delusional than Trump.

    J U S T I C EJ U S T I C EMonth ago
  • <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="93">1:33</a> They left out the FACT that the President sent the tests to the states, and it was the states (at the state level) (all democrat run states) that failed to distribute them.

    Angrage MacmuffinsAngrage MacmuffinsMonth ago
    • But what do we expect from Fake News?

      Angrage MacmuffinsAngrage MacmuffinsMonth ago
  • *Meet List* application to help keep track of people you meet. This application helps Backtrack *Coronavirus* Patient activities. Keep a list of people you meet with this application and help Doctors backtrack in order to prevent widespread of *Coronavirus*. 1. A Very simple application to maintain list of all the people you meet which will keep your data private to you. 2. Time and Date is automatically taken from your device 3. Data is added locally, So *Member list is not held with any organization but You*. 4. Search by date option is added. Date to be search my format "dd-MM-yyyy" or "dd-MM" or "dd"

    YCYCMonth ago
  • How is the US behind in testing when we have tests exponentially greater in numbers than any other country in the world? Even if we throw out billions of tests a day, the science labs can only handle so many at a time, that the results would be backed up for months. Its not about how many tests we distribute; we need thousands of more labs, thousands of more lab workers, and millions of more testing apparatus, tools, equipment. The problem is inevitable because nobody in the world said in advanced (years ago) that we need to prepare to be able to complete millions of tests a day. It sounds great from an external perspective, sure we need more testing, but the amount of more testing that we need to make a difference is impossible. This is something that needed to be prepared years in advanced. So who is to blame for not being prepared years in advanced. Well nobody, because I never heard one person bring up the issue in history that we need to advance our science labs to be able to administer millions of tests daily. This is something that will take time. Tests are evolving rapidly and only time will tell.

    Q U A T T R OQ U A T T R OMonth ago
  • I don't think US ever had the best health care system in the world. They may have the most advanced cutting edge health care system in the world but that's an entirely different thing, isn't it.

    girandolegirandoleMonth ago
  • Yeah usa spends most of it money on its military not education and health care That's cuz usa wanna fight the world and not make any peace I am not against usa I just wanted to say my opinion believe me I also love usa but sometimes it is bad in some areas

    Ali murtazaAli murtazaMonth ago
  • Even if you get a test it takes 10 days to get the results ???

    Beth AdkinsBeth AdkinsMonth ago
  • my question to the failed or no test how are they able to come up with the numbers of those infected we all have had a cold cough fever or some kind of flu . question 2# why did our goverment not make every one wear a mask or be fined . question 3# why when the virus first hit seattle wa did the governor not quaratine the area it hit yet allowed people in and out without testing first, road blocks are set up to check for drunk drivers. yet they allowed the virus to spread. question 4# they cant cure a cold how can they cure this.Question 5# if 29000 people died from the flu last year why did we not shutdown then or any other time. Question 6# the aids virus infected many people yet they were tested and allowed to leave and go out to infect more people.same with hepatitus. and HIV.

    wood shedwood shedMonth ago
  • Even after this wave gets controlled (after many months perhaps), us will continue bragging about being "the best". such is the oblivion ness of the country.

    Dhyan JayDhyan JayMonth ago

    Josh FJosh FMonth ago
  • this corona virus is beneficial, to all nations who didn't experience MERS or SARS. They can finally open their eyes and soon be prepared for future outbreaks.

    NicktastelessNicktastelessMonth ago
  • In China gov send people door to door to force you test and if you are positive they capture you like a dog and put you in a hospital prison.

    Lucifer DeathdigLucifer DeathdigMonth ago
  • Remember to install Ad Block Plus or uBlock Origin on your browser and enable it before you watch any videos from Fox, CNN, CBS, WaPo, etc,etc

    Peter KropotkinPeter KropotkinMonth ago
  • LOL! Trolls from Russia claiming US is not a first world country. Meanwhile, 25% of Russian homes don't have functioning running water.

    joeschultz2joeschultz2Month ago
  • If you are not in medical field, you are not smart enough to wear a mask properly. And so the officials said that masks doesn't work. Remember that?

    D ND NMonth ago
  • Ironically, the US and South Korea had their first Corona cases on the same date (01/20/2020). While South Korea used tests developed and recommended by the WHO, in the US, the FDA just waited for the CDC to finish developing their own test instead of authorizing the WHO test which was already available at that time. The New York Times explains it quite well: "The C.D.C. gave little thought to adopting the test being used by the W.H.O. The C.D.C.’s test was working in its own lab - still processing samples from states - which gave agency officials confidence. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the agency’s principal deputy director, would later say that the C.D.C. did not think 'we needed somebody else’s test.' "

    Vorname NachnameVorname NachnameMonth ago
  • Was it this

    Somewhere NearyouSomewhere NearyouMonth ago
  • This outbreak is nothing but natural selection on a grand scale. Survival of the fittest. Every man for himself.

    King BeowulfKing BeowulfMonth ago
  • buy korea's test kits immediately.

    tk mtk mMonth ago
  • Tests are pointless. I have the virus, I stay home I dont have the virus, I stay home I feel terribly bad, I go to a hospital. Knowing you have the virus will not make a difference because theres no specific treatment. And it wont make you more or less infectious, just be cautious regardless of verification

    english curseenglish curseMonth ago
  • That's crazy

    Tune ClayTune ClayMonth ago
  • Why do doctors need a title and put their diploma on the wall???? it is so pretentious and for no reason!

    USA a gun ridden slaughterhouseUSA a gun ridden slaughterhouseMonth ago
  • they have the worst healthcare in the world lol! How is it possible to make healthcare a business.. Only in the US. disgusting country

    USA a gun ridden slaughterhouseUSA a gun ridden slaughterhouseMonth ago
  • #MakeChinaPay

    Carlos SanchezCarlos SanchezMonth ago
  • It's kinda crazy that the US through the CDC like to go around the world, especially in Africa to show them how to fight epidemic diseases; but cannot stop a disease here in the US. The US have lost more than 10,000 people in less than 3 months, bc of a disease that has a lower death rate than epidemic diseases like Ebola. Few years ago, Ebola lasted more than a year in 4 African countries, and killed 11,000 people. And guess what? Ebola has a higher death rate than the coronavirus, around 50% against less than 3% for the corona virus. Perhaps, we're are not the best in the world like we always like to claim loudly.

    meydallasmeydallasMonth ago
  • A lot of countries are behind in testing, not just America. Bring our manufacturing back to USA.

    Lisa PriceLisa PriceMonth ago
  • Teachers buy Taiwanese masks and do not buy from China because it is not safe and does not guarantee quality. It is very likely that the whole community has been infected by the virus so the kit and virus

    Manh leManh leMonth ago
  • 600 000 people were tested today.

    Stratan T.Stratan T.Month ago
  • Awwww look more bs from a bs news media

    fudge youfudge youMonth ago
  • Wait... who the heck says our healthcare system is the best in the world? 😂 I don’t think I’ve heard that said by a regular person, in my entire life.

    TheHyperWolfTheHyperWolfMonth ago
  • US will fall and people need a fundamental revolution there

    Joseph ZouJoseph ZouMonth ago
  • The problem isn't just lack of resources, it's the American people. We're uneducated and divided.

    Will LeeWill LeeMonth ago
    • Survival of the fittest buddy. At this point its every man for himself.😎

      King BeowulfKing BeowulfMonth ago
  • Dummies testing kit are not available because the factories that produce those testing kit are moved to China by the greedy American cooperate and politicians. Nobody can not make it available overnight. I call all of dummies because you guys are failed to talk about root cause of the problems.

    Jamyang TsultrimJamyang TsultrimMonth ago
  • Fauci givin them that real talk

    Vizzy VeeVizzy VeeMonth ago
  • Media was busy bashing Russia and Trump. Trump was busy warmongering overseas. Corona just walked in and infiltrated every county plus Hawaii too.

    basant vimal sharmabasant vimal sharmaMonth ago
  • Easy task former reality show guy called ‘Chinese Virus’ and weeks later he rallies that it was no serious because it was a ‘democrat hoax’ Instead of acting immediately current administration ignored all early alerts about it and now thousands of American are paying the price with their lives!

    Dino GaldamezDino GaldamezMonth ago
  • Preparedness? I’d say preparation.

    Isaiah MyersIsaiah MyersMonth ago
  • Get the testing from WHO. Why they waited for CDC?

    william louiewilliam louieMonth ago
  • My brother in law just died last week in his early 40s. he came in with double pneumonia, ended up on a respirator, n died after he was running 105 to 108 fevers. THEY DID NOT TEST HIM. Not even after his death. Some of these patients who fit the bill, aren't being counted! I can guarantee the numbers are way higher then they say. STAY HOME, BE SAFE

    Racheal PiazzaRacheal PiazzaMonth ago
    • Sorry about the loss of your BIA but I can't afford to stay home. Right now it's survival of the fittest. Every man for himself. This outbreak (like any other pandemic) is natural selection on a grand scale.

      King BeowulfKing BeowulfMonth ago
  • Actually, the United States does not have the best healthcare system in the world. Approximately 10% of the US has no or inadequate healthcare. All our allied nations have single payer healthcare. Healthcare for all, paid by taxes, no middle man insurer making profit, max value for money, costs less per person than the US for-profit system.

    Liberal LarryLiberal LarryMonth ago
  • The German test kit was released on january 17. By feb 4, when CDC released its own, faulty, test, WHO already shipped 250.000 reliable test kits worldwide.

    sotuur aeeisotuur aeeiMonth ago
  • I’m so sorry. Can you please explain to me what happens when a person tests positive for the Coronavirus? There is no cure yet, correct? They can’t be admitted to the hospital for observation because there are too many critical patients that need that bed, ones that may have the full expression of the virus, ones that had a heart attack or stroke, etc. Is testing a person that has no symptoms or mild symptoms just for curiosity sakes? I really am searching for the reason, then maybe I won’t be so upset that my comrades are being overwhelmed in the hospitals with people that are taking their attention from people in critical need of it. Thank you.

    Dr. Kristiane SchweitzerDr. Kristiane SchweitzerMonth ago
    • My mom aunt n uncle has it💔plz pray for Louisiana

      sotuur aeeisotuur aeeiMonth ago
  • America always posed as an invincible country yet mother nature does not distinguish mankind in the form of country or wealth humans are foolish

    Tim ZitzelsbergerTim ZitzelsbergerMonth ago
  • China create the same condition of world war2....when japan was on the peak of bio weapon invention. america was use atomic power against him before any casualties. now all world need to teach a lesson to china by bann china for all kind of business trades and also cancel his Vito

    peace omeypeace omeyMonth ago
  • Tracking tracking tracking tracking

    W.CindereaW.CindereaMonth ago
  • The chinese are right. USA created the virus. The following jinn catching session where an islamic scholar is catching jinna through a mediums body is told the whole game. This is USA's illuminati game of depopulating the world and also economically weakening china. Watch this session: "Djinn catching for Coronavirus, Ben Halima Abderraouf"

    Primal BeastPrimal BeastMonth ago
    • Fake news

      King BeowulfKing BeowulfMonth ago
  • All trumps fault!

    Bruce IllestBruce IllestMonth ago
  • The best health system in the world is a lie. It just flopped at the first round.

    M SM SMonth ago
  • We lost time because China downplayed it until it had a foothold everywhere. Also we had a bad flu season that masked the initial spread.

    SellisaSellisaMonth ago
  • Imagine if that WW3 thing happened while this corona virus. Omg earth would've been wiped out.

    Omar TenorioOmar TenorioMonth ago
  • You know? Dont just blame your govt, you yourselves are part of the problem. All those conspiracies. Lol. You know your health-system is not the best or reliable, what do you do? Lets party more, its just a political attack of left or right. Lol no. You are all dying and have the time to blame it on somebody. Well thats westerners for you. Its all you do.

    Toby and FriendsToby and FriendsMonth ago
  • This same thing happens when people want to be tested for cancer they turn people arround and urge you not to come back unless your atually dying

    soniyu ziuysoniyu ziuyMonth ago
  • Total coronavirus cases set to break 1 million tomorrow!!! This is still surreal with all modern methods we didn't control better.

    fokana1fokana1Month ago
  • Tg he time we really missed was China lying to us. They knew in late Nov. There was a problem.. the average virus test did not pickup the. CV-19. Thankful we had some excellent developers here who went all out ! Or we might still be out there in the dark. Thank you!

    Claudine SchultzClaudine SchultzMonth ago
  • I believe you are wrong, the first tests came from China & they were wrong. We could not create the test until we had the virus to create the test. If you can't live without blaming someone, then blame the owners ( basically the Rockefeller's & Rothchilds WHO have with past administer been able to move our medicines & supplies out of our Country. Most states understocked emergency supplies. I doubt most people even realized the production were so minimal in the USA. I learned a few months ago that grocery stores not longer had back stock. I went to buy a bag of flour, they were out. What grocery runs out of flour,?? You don't open a gas station without gas? Same building space, same storage space . I started snooping, no one backstocks. Agreed upon so no one gets an advantage. If you snoop,you will be surprised what you will find. Today. I can't get a count of the C- 19 tests & a count of the positives tests. Occurring today.. I can't monitor how we are progressing. I need that so if you don't do right, I can call someone. I want a daily report. Many Oklahoma USkeys's. nothing of value in them of testing, deaths or location.

    Claudine SchultzClaudine SchultzMonth ago

      soniyu ziuysoniyu ziuyMonth ago
  • Why, after two months into this contagion, Only 1 million Americans have been tested? Is it lack of testing kits? logistics? trained staff? Why is population testing such a low priority for CDC? Many people may already have antibodies or may be asymptomatic carriers.

    miguel josemiguel joseMonth ago
  • America has failed it's ppl...God bless America We are at its weakest point....

    Phat BaePhat BaeMonth ago
  • My mom aunt n uncle has it💔plz pray for Louisiana

    Phat BaePhat BaeMonth ago
  • The government made the virus... Google Patent coronavirus...they made it

    Phat BaePhat BaeMonth ago
  • At the time of this video the USA had issued more test than any country in the world.

    Hunch0FlameZHunch0FlameZMonth ago
  • South Korea hands down !

    Marc SonMarc SonMonth ago
  • The administration and CDC should please consider this message, and please spread my recommendations if you agree with my thoughts.... The focus should be first universal face masks in ALL public areas to prevent asymptomatic carriers from spreading Covid 19. Testing will not do anything now because there is no plan to test the whole population, just the symptomatic patients; that’s like having a biased study to validate your preconceived assumption. Testing has minimal utility in this situation. Face masks are a better use of resources to allow everyone to be protected while slowing the spread. This is done in conjunction to hand washing. What is more effective: 6 ft social distancing when you walk into someone’s respiratory aerosol in a park, or wearing a mask 1 ft away when this person if wearing a mask who can not create aerosol for others to breath? When I do surgery I wear a mask to prevent me from coughing into a patient (along with scrubbing my hands). Why is wearing a mask in public with a known pathogen who’s main mode of infection is respiratory aerosol different? How does more testing achieve this when there is no plan to provide this to the common asymptomatic public? If the administration is so intent on starting up the economy, then why not figure out measures to allow society to start working again?! Are we expected to stay at home until a vaccine is made soonest by the summer of 2021?! I propose that we follow the Asian countries who are operational and have proven that these measures are critical to allow society to continue. These countries either learned from SARS and was prepared culturally, or they were hit by Covid 19 and now have limited the spread while opening businesses and schools. 1. Use Defense Act and make all textile companies make face masks for house to house distribution or have them easily obtainable at every park, mall, business, etc. Make a mandate that a face mask MUST be worn at ALL times in any public setting and in any gathering more than your usual household. 2. Thermal camera screening at all major transportation hub points of entry and preventing anyone with a fever to enter an airport terminal or train or ship. 3. In order to lift the stay at home order, ALL businesses, schools, department stores, restaurants should have either forehead temperature check vs thermal camera screening by security upon entry (no entry if fever); check for wearing face masks; ask to sanitize hands with alcohol ; provide disinfectant wipe for phone and belongings. So my question is what costs more money to the economy: telling everyone to stay at home and keep pumping more trillions and trillions into unemployment benefits and business bailout money, or the three steps I outlined to allow society to proceed in safest possible way until a vaccine is made?

    Lee PhamLee PhamMonth ago
  • US healthcare is joke

    Stanislav TokarevStanislav TokarevMonth ago
  • Maybe off-topic: one important lesson from China’s fight against the coronavirus: don’t make people pay for tests and treatment! In China all tests and treatment even hopitalization and intensive care are covered by the Chinese government!

    zhang克zhang克Month ago
  • Trump cut funding for the CDC. Basically that's it.

    flysocietyflysocietyMonth ago
  • This so strongly indicts the Pig (Trump() for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and the collapse of the economy beyond what we might have imaginied in other circumstances. Why did S. Korea , Singapore do so well comparatively? Preparedness. What did the Pig do to prepare? Dismantled and disbanded the pandemic specialists Obama had set up. "Well, you can always hire newer ones if you need them." Massive testing is most effective in an initial effort at the ISOLATION stage. We can still use testing in our mitigation stage, to continue to identify cases, do folllow up, identify infected people. But we're long past the isolation stage that really can stop it cold as they've largely donne in Singapore and S. Korea. For this, thank the Pig. His election will prove to have been a far worse consequence than I every thought it might.

    ElPocho DelMundoElPocho DelMundoMonth ago
  • Was sick for two weeks, worked thru the whole thing at a local motel. Fever, diarrhea, cough, and weakness, and still showed up. Boss did not care. Had to have police shut us down. Not sick now. No test for the poor and uninsured. My country, USA is a joke. USA deserves this for what they did i to my Abenaki tribe 150 years ago. Pay back.

    Billy Jamez MartinBilly Jamez MartinMonth ago

    FreedomFreedomMonth ago
  • The WHO has changed to only using tests in limited circumstances which isn’t mentioned

    TechnophantTechnophantMonth ago

    carla wellscarla wellsMonth ago

    carla wellscarla wellsMonth ago