An infectious disease expert has roundly dismissed White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s claim that widespread testing for the coronavirus is unnecessary in order to safely reopen the country.
McEnany on Wednesday said the “notion that everyone needs to be tested is just simply nonsensical.”
Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and a medical analyst for CNN, fired back on Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN Tonight.”
“We have to test everyone and probably repeatedly,” Sepkowitz told host Don Lemon,” echoing the view of many public health experts, including members of the Trump White House’s coronavirus task force.
“It’s preposterous to think we can reopen the country safely without knowing who’s got what,” he added.
Sepkowitz likened it “to trying to cross a busy street with your eyes closed. You can’t do it. You have to know what’s going on.”
“It’s just so fundamentally absurd that I think we’ve lost track of how preposterous an idea this is that we don’t need the tests,” he said. “It’s completely illogical. Not acceptable.”
Sepkowitz also greeted Trump’s decision to walk back his plan to wind down the White House’s coronavirus task force with skepticism, suggesting the pandemic that has now killed more than 73,000 people in the U.S. “has been mostly a political crisis for the president.”
“It’s not been a medical one. It’s not been a humanitarian one,” he said.
“He’s let us know how disinterested he is in us as citizens, but also in the problem, which is really a tough problem,” Sepkowitz added. “I mean, even a very engaged humanist president would have a hard time with this. This is tough business. One who is as uninterested and as disinterested creates a very, very unique challenge.”
Check out the interview here:
“We have to test everyone and probably repeatedly,” says Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, an infectious disease expert, about coronavirus testing. “It’s preposterous to think we can reopen the country safely without knowing who’s got what.” pic.twitter.com/iUlNMwncRp
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) May 7, 2020
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