(USA Features) The Trump administration announced it is manufacturing “millions” of COVID-19 tests as a means of being able to reopen large swaths of the country later this month or in early May.
“If things work out the way we believe they will, we will have millions on the market by May in a sophisticated way, in a prospective way that we get the surveillance we need,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services said Monday.
“We can test people to see if they’ve been exposed, are immune, and can go back to work.”
Giroir, along with other health experts and political leaders, said massive testing would be a way to ease concerns among local and state elected leaders as well as Americans regarding the spread of the disease.
Giroir also said that the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Health are working together to validate the tests and distribute them widely across the U.S.
He further noted that some 3.5 million coronavirus tests manufactured by China and sent to the UK were faulty.
“This allows for surveillance screening…to understand if 1%, 5%, 20% of Americans have been infected, but it also allows us to have very widespread tens and tens of millions of people screened with a finger prick on the spot,” said Giroir.
“I’m very excited about it,” he added.
Other health officials have argued that widespread testing of antibodies is practically the only way to reopen parts of the country and get Americans back to work again after more than 10 million have been furloughed in less than two weeks due to mandatory business closures to stop the virus’ spread.