We called in April for the nation to get to three million Covid-19 tests a week by July and to 30 million by October. We’re well on the way, at the 4.5 million now. But to beat this virus we need a massive national effort—backed by organizational heft and billions in new funding— to get to 30 million and beyond with tests that are easy, fast and cheap. Only then can we keep the economy open and protect our most vulnerable.
The main difference here is while we got to just over 3 million on schedule the lag time for results makes them practically worthless in curbing the spread. Therefore we propose a massive financial and organizational effort to get to 30 million and beyond, concentrated on rapid results screening tests. Speed but less sensitive beats slow and sure. By testing often we will catch false negatives and the time to result enables contact tracing to prevent disease.