UC Irvine epidemiologist: US should 'stop crying over spilled milk' about testing

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Epidemiologist Andrew Noymer told the “Fox News Rundown" podcast Friday that while mass testing for the coronavirus is “important,” there is no point in complaining about the lack of testing in the United States at the outset of the pandemic.

“I think some people kind of fetishize testing,” said Noymer, an associate professor of population health and disease prevention at the University of California Irvine.

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“We should stop crying over spilled milk about the fact we didn’t have testing early on the way South Korea did," Noymer added. "I mean, it would have been better and there certainly is going to have to be a calling into account and an investigation into why we were so slow to get testing where it needed to be and we need more transparency in all this.”

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President Trump said Thursday that he disagreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci's earlier statement that the United States is “not in a situation where we can say we are exactly where we want to be with regard to testing” for the coronavirus as portions of the country slowly begin to relax lockdown measures.

In an interview with Time that was published Thursday, Fauci -- the top U.S. infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force -- said he wasn't confident the U.S. is at a place to ramp up testing.

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“We need to significantly ramp up not only the number of tests, but the capacity to perform them, so that you don’t have a situation where you have a test, but it can’t be done because there isn’t a swab, or because there isn’t extraction media or not the right vial,” Fauci told Time.

“I am not overly confident right now at all that we have what it takes to do that. We are doing better, and I think we are going to get there, but we are not there yet.”

Trump said Thursday he disagreed with Fauci's remarks, claiming the U.S. is "very advanced in testing."

Noymer said that from a public health standpoint going forward, the United States “won’t nip the coronavirus pandemic in the bud early” because we are no longer at an “early” stage of fighting the outbreak.

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