Saturday, March 7, 2020

Why is the CDC Suppressing Coronavirus testing in Washington State?

As many of you may know, Washington State has been ground zero for the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in the US. As of this writing 16 of the 17 deaths in the US are from Washington State (and 15 from a single county in the state). Below is total attributed deaths worldwide. You can view the most recent numbers here.


Washington State also makes up the largest portion of confirmed cases in the US.


These numbers will change by the time I post this since some more limited testing is finally starting to take place but in reality these 'confirmed' numbers are pretty useless at this point because they are grossly under-reported due to a complete and total lack of testing.

It wasn't only a problem of test kits....it was also a problem of policy.

Until very recently the CDC only allowed people to be tested if they had visited an affected foreign country or could prove they were in contact with someone who had. A completely idiotic policy.
"The new criteria allow people to be tested who have severe respiratory illness with no other explanation, even if they have not traveled to affected countries or have been in contact with a known coronavirus patient, he noted."
Ok, that sounds promising right? It's obviously on US soil so we should be testing a much broader range of people to better gauge the spread, right? However, not even a week later local hospitals are ALREADY putting a break on testing at the guidance of the CDC for a completely opposite reason.

H/T to twitter user @Noneya_Mindyers (highlighting is mine)
That is from EvergreenHealth which includes the hospital in Kirkland, WA where the majority of Coronavirus deaths in the region have occurred. EvergreenHealth also has a network of outpatient clinics and urgent care locations throughout the region.

So at first the CDC doesn't want people tested because they don't think it has spread enough to warrant testing unless you have traveled.....but NOW they don't want people tested because IT HAS SPREAD TOO MUCH?!? 

After seeing that post I went to look for myself and saw the message described in that tweet. But now this is what you get....
However, google still has it indexed

And fortunately the internet rarely forgets. While I wasn't able to pull-up that exact page....I was able to get their Community Message for  3-4-20 from the way-back machine internet archive which contained largely the same message https://web.archive.org/web/20200307153209/http://www.evergreenhealth.com/community-message-3420


The more concerning questions is WHY WAS THIS MESSAGE DELETED? I have received no response via twitter. It doesn't appear that it is because this policy has been reversed....it appears that it was deleted because it had received attention and they don't want the policy on public display. 

Why is the CDC so set on limiting testing? Would love for EvergreenHealth to clear up this confusion.....As they should know, communication is key during a public health crisis.

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