The White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Sunday the nation is capable of doubling its testing capability.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Birx said the team is “calling every single laboratory that have all these platforms.”
“There’s over a thousand of them in over 300 labs, and they're calling everyone to work with each state and local authority to ensure that they have everything that they need to turn on full capacity, which will, we believe, double the number of tests that are available for Americans,” she said.
Birx also weighed in on the criticism of China for its lack of transparency, saying the first country infected in a pandemic has the “moral obligation” to be open about it.
“When you look at the outbreak that's been reported to China, and you look at the outbreak that was able to be contained in South Korea and a series of Asian countries, you didn't see that kind of doubling rate, you didn’t see that logarithmic increase that you see all throughout the developed countries of Europe and certainly in the United States,” she said.
She said “it wasn't until the beginning of March that we could all fully see how contagious this virus was, how transmittable it was.”
“And I think that level between January when we had evidence of this apparently and when we really understood its level of transmissibility, it’s always the first country that gets exposed to the pandemic that has … a higher moral obligation on communicating on transparency because all the other countries around the world are making decisions on that," she said.
Birx also praised Florida’s website for its coronavirus reports, and recommends other states follow that lead.
“Because these outbreaks are very local, the data needs to be analyzed locally,” she said. “And so we all should look at the Florida public health site. I think they are doing an extraordinary job keeping their communities informed day by day about where the virus is, where the new cases are.”
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