Famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden said on Friday that the lack of coronavirus test results does not help medical professionals combat the virus and that proper strategies need to be developed.
Baden's comments came after the White House's coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed that tests should not overshadow the precautionary measures needed to prevent infection.
"It'll definitely do us much better if we had a lot of tests out there," Fauci said.
"But that should not prevent us from doing the things that would prevent you from getting infected -- that kind of social distancing that we're talking about."
Baden, a Fox News contributor, responded to Fauci's comments, saying that he "agrees partially" with him but then raised the importance of testing,
“Until we get test results we're working in the blind,” he said on “Fox & Friends."
Baden argued that the difference between the coronavirus and the flu is that no one knows how to react to the coronavirus since it is a “new” challenge.
“We don’t know how serious the [coronavirus] will be a month from now, a year from now, yet."
Meanwhile, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state laboratories grapple to keep up with the growing demand for coronavirus testing, the medical center Mayo Clinic announced in a statement on Thursday that it has developed a test.
The Mayo Clinic can now detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus — which causes COVID-19 — in clinical samples (such as nasal and throat swabs) from suspected coronavirus patients. The results from the test will be available “within 24 hours,” said Matthew Binnicker, a clinical microbiologist and director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
As coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S., the quest to combat the pandemic is being hampered by testing kit shortages and a fear that the materials needed to make more may soon run dry.
Baden also said that without the test, the location of sick people is unknown while the flu is easy to detect because the symptoms are made apparent quicker. On the other hand, the coronavirus symptoms are not apparent until around 14 days from contracting it.
“The only way you can find people who are spreading the virus but don’t look sick is by doing testing,” Baden said.
Baden added that “panic is no good” and simply advising people not to touch other people is not enough.
“We have to do more than that,” he said.
Fox News' Madeline Farber contributed to this report.