Appearing Friday on CNN, the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said he is”nervous” about the United States reopening as it combats the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, saying that the issue is not being taken seriously.
A partial transcript is as follows:
JOHN BERMAN: People are actually getting sick because’s there’s a virus out there. We’re finding out it because their’s testing and as you test more, you learn about new cases, but 86,000 people haven’t been killed because we’re testing too much.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA: No doubt. You test in order to save lives, because you can find people, who have the infection, you can isolate them and keep them from spreading this virus which we know kills people. It’s as simple as that. We don’t have a vaccine, we don’t have a super-effective therapeutic right now. We wish we did and we will one day, but I think the big question is in the interim: what do we do? What have we seen work in the past in the history of the world? What have we seen in other countries around the world right now? It’s all predicated on testing and I know you sound like a broken record after a while saying that. Yeah, we have gotten better at testing. We started way late. It makes a huge difference when you start way late because there were so many more cases that spilled out into the community as a result of waiting that late. I don’t know if we can catch up right now, but the fact is we need to do more testing.
Again, going back to Georgia and other states, they’re opening up, but go talk to people and say how comfortable do you feel? I know we show images of people crowding bars and stuff like that, but how about moms and dads at home with their kids thinking ‘do I go out? How safe is it? Could I bring that virus home? That’s still a concern. If they could get tested and have some degree of confidence then that would make their lives a lot easier. We’re not there yet. We released guidelines yesterday that say we want to promote hand hygiene in schools, we want to wear masks as feasible, We’re not taking this seriously anymore and we’re still in the middle of it. People are declaring victory. The original draft guidelines had specifics in terms of how many tests should be on standby at businesses, how employers should make sure their employees are safe and keep their customers safe. What happened to that? We’re not taking this seriously anymore. I’m nervous. I know I’m the one truppeting the horn and I’m going to get a lot of hate mail about it but we’re not out of this by any means.