- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 28, 2020

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on Thursday said the U.S. still has a ways to go on coronavirus testing for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people.

“We’re not doing a good job yet of putting in place the mechanisms for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic testing,” Dr. Gottlieb said on CNBC. “The people who are generally presenting for testing are symptomatic people.”

“We still need to figure out ways to get testing into sites and encourage asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic screening, or we’re going to be in a difficult situation heading into the fall,” he said.

It’s estimated that more than 15 million tests have been performed in the U.S., which crossed the somber threshold of 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths this week.

Dr. Gottlieb has said an ideal target is to have roughly 1% of the U.S. population, or about 3 million people, tested every week. Some experts have said that target needs to be far higher.

He said there’s also a “patchwork” system of tracking and tracing among the states.

Dr. Gottlieb has been advising Maryland, Massachusetts and Connecticut on their coronavirus responses and said those states and California are examples of those that are doing a good job.

“Some states aren’t and so that’s going to be a problem in the fall if we have this patchwork approach, and we don’t have a uniform system for trying to do case-based interventions heading into the fall,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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