MI docs, health workers: Trump should cut photo-ops & get us needed COVID-19 tests
Ongoing testing shortages threaten safety as all states start to reopen
LANSING — The Committee to Protect Medicare, a national organization of physicians, along with Priorities Michigan, SEIU Healthcare Michigan, and health care workers today called on President Trump to explain how he plans to ramp up nationwide COVID-19 testing so states that reopen their economies can do so safely. Trump is scheduled to visit Ypsilanti, Mich., on Thursday.
“Every public health expert and medical professional tells us that the most responsible way to reopen our economy is to do it carefully, with robust, reliable nationwide testing so we can anticipate and prevent outbreaks, yet President Trump refuses to come up with a plan that won’t endanger people,” said CTP Executive Director Rob Davidson, MD, an emergency physician in west Michigan. “When Mr. Trump comes to Michigan, he should spend less time treating his visit like a battleground state campaign stop and more time telling Americans how he plans to increase nationwide testing because that’s the key to safely bringing people back to work and reopening businesses. The science is clear: the only way to fix our economy now is to get our public health response right.”
Public health experts recently told Congress that U.S. testing rates are only about one-third of what they would need to be to safely reopen the economy, with testing capacity still months away from reaching 1 million a day. The experts also say testing failures led to economic shutdowns that could have been averted with early, aggressive testing.
Dr. Farhan Bhatti, Michigan state lead for the Committee to Protect Medicare and CEO of Care Free Medical, said: “Michiganders and all Americans are looking to President Trump to provide leadership, but his actions only threaten to put people at risk. Ensuring we have enough reliable tests means Mr. Trump should both ramp up our capacity while cracking down on the glut of unreliable tests that are flooding the market and which are giving people a false sense of security against COVID-19. Michiganders and Americans deserve real answers, instead of an election-year photo op.”
Bhatti has warned against a false sense of security as more privately produced tests flood the market, including much-touted antibody tests. Many of them have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration or have been rushed through despite being unreliable.
Health workers said the Trump Administration’s foot dragging on personal protective equipment continues to put people at risk.
“As a frontline health worker, I see every day how shortages of basic protective equipment endangers us, the patients we care for and the people in our communities,” said Trece Andrews, a health care worker at Regency Nursing Home at St. Clair Shores,“Until President Trump fully addresses these challenges and gives states like Michigan enough masks and enough tests, we are not ready to reopen safely. President Trump should protect people first because we can’t bring our economy back if people are sick and scared to go to unsafe businesses and workplaces.”
Video recording of the press call can be found HERE
About the Committee to Protect Medicare
The Committee to Protect Medicare is an advocacy organization made up of frontline doctors engaging in direct advocacy and communications in support of a stronger healthcare system in America. To learn more: http://committeetoprotect.org/