As reported in today’s New York Times, in response to a request by an intermediary, I made a last ditch attempt to explain the value of testing to WH advisor Scott Atlas in an email I sent on Sept. 21.
Predictably, it had no effect. He was already dead set on chasing herd immunity.
My Statement for The House Budget Committee Hearing on Federal R&D on what it will take for the United States to lead the world in both basic science and technological progress.
A lightly edited version of this twitter thread:
In a week dominated by horrible news, there are signs that the Senate may make the right choice when it passes a new response to the pandemic this July:
Answers to questions the proposal to use virus tests to reopen schools safely
The number of virus tests that the US uses to fight the ongoing pandemic will be very sensitive to the cost of a test. Several bits of evidence suggest that the true cost per person tested is about $10.
Yet in the United States, the providers of the approved clinical diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 are able to charge a significant monopoly markup over their marginal cost of doing the test. The US government pays $100 per test to labs that are using high throughput technologies.
It would not be surprising if the two dominant providers of diagnostic tests, LabCorp and Quest, oppose entry into the testing business by university labs that can offer the tests at one-tenth the price they charge. Nor would it be surprising if these powerful companies were feeding information to news organizations and to members of Congress which suggests that it would be a terrible idea to invite university labs in as new providers of test services.