The Atlantic

Without More Tests, America Can’t Reopen

And to make matters worse, we’re testing the wrong people.
Source: Yeshiel Xinhua / eyevine / Redux

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET on April 19, 2020.

Even as Donald Trump has delineated his plan to relax social distancing, the United States remains very much in the dark about who has the coronavirus and who does not. We have a shortage of COVID-19 tests, and we simultaneously have the highest number of confirmed cases in the world. Consequently, not every American who wants a test can get one. Not every health-care worker can get one. Not even every patient entering a hospital can get one. Because of the shortages, we are rationing tests, and medical facilities and public-health officials are prioritizing the sickest patients for them.

If the goal is to restart the American economy, the United States isn’t performing anywhere near enough tests. Worse still, we are testing the wrong people. To safely reopen closed businesses and revive American social

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