The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pushed pause on a home-based coronavirus testing program started by Bill Gates.
The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) is a program seeking to send coronavirus test-kits to the homes of people. The effort is seen as crucial in ramping up testing to the level needed to reopen states safely on a large scale. The program was successful at finding many coronavirus cases previously undiagnosed.
The FDA is now hitting pause on the Bill Gates coronavirus testing program. In a statement on its website, SCAN said that the program had the necessary approval from the Washington State Department of Health. However, the FDA requires additional Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow returning results for self-collected tests. Furthermore, the statement added that the FDA found nothing wrong with the accuracy of the test itself.
Bill Gates and SCAN – How Important is Testing to Reopen?
A coronavirus vaccine is still a few months away. The country cannot afford to stay under lockdown until a vaccine is found. This means rapid coronavirus testing programs, like the one Bill Gates just started, are essential to opening the country back up.
The question of reopening is dividing the country on political lines at the moment. A rapid testing program could become an excellent solution until a vaccine comes along. Bill Gates is one of the few people in the world who has the resources to start a massive coronavirus testing program. SCAN already started testing people in the state of Washington but remains paused for now.
Administration Mismanagement Again Under the Scanner
President Trump and his administration are facing criticism from all sides for a botched response to the pandemic. Halting a functional coronavirus testing program from doing its job due to a needless technical hassle is the latest example of needless bureaucracy.
Despite having advanced notice of the possible scale of the pandemic, the Trump administration continually downplayed its potential impact. After handing away a solitary $1200 relief check, the GOP is no longer enthusiastic about more relief programs. President Trump faces a tough battle to convince the American public he is doing a good job. With needless technicalities halting SCAN, the administration should make sure such a good testing program doesn’t go to waste.
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