Reader says Texas must improve COVID-19 testing, tracing capacity

To the Editor:

Experts across many fields have insisted that in order to put Americans back to work, we must dramatically increase our readiness for testing COVID-19.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s own expert, Dr. Mark McClellan, said that widespread testing and a robust tracing program is critical for the next stage.

As we await Gov. Abbott’s plans for reopening the Texas economy, the data for America’s ability to track the spread of COVID-19 continues to be dangerously limited.

We are ranked among the lowest in the world for testing capacity and administration.

Gov. Abbott has told us that the vice president has assured him the federal government will help increase testing capacity, but its response to this pandemic has been disastrous at every level.

Even more alarming is the fact that as part of that world-lagging ranking, Texas continues to rank among the worst in the country for per-capita COVID-19 testing, averaging only 8,000 tests per day last week, according to the Department of State Health Services.

The Harvard Global Health Institute released data that indicates we need five times the testing we are currently averaging.

Texas is literally at the bottom of the bottom when it comes to having adequate testing capacity.

When the lieutenant governor of this state repeatedly tells Texans that they should sacrifice their very lives to reopen the state sooner, we need the governor to give us responsible and detailed steps to ensure that Texans are not at risk.

Yet in his last two press conferences, Gov. Abbott has utterly failed to provide clear plans for getting Texas tested while we await a vaccine.

Texas DSHS has provided no information on tracing.

We must hold the governor’s feet to the fire on these two issues before we can responsibly open the economy, or many innocent lives will be needlessly lost.

Chris Rosenberg

Belton

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