Courtesy of Politico:
Large numbers of Covid-19 patients are refusing to tell public health workers who they’ve had contact with, thwarting state efforts to slow disease spread at a fragile turnaround in the pandemic.
Contact tracing data provided to POLITICO shows more than three-quarters of people interviewed in hard-hit states like California and Louisiana refused to cooperate with efforts to identify relatives or acquaintances who may have been exposed to the disease.
Tracing programs, paired with expansive testing, have been credited with controlling the spread of Covid-19 in countries like South Korea and New Zealand. But state officials and public health experts say U.S. efforts have been undercut by the Trump administration’s failure to advocate for tracing. Conspiracy theories linking interviews to government plots to set up surveillance cameras and gun confiscations haven’t helped. That lingering distrust could hinder immunization programs once a Covid-19 vaccine is found.
“We’ve had people worry that we’re the FBI or other government agencies,” said Kirstin Short, the bureau chief of epidemiology at the Houston Health Department. “It’s a challenge we’ve been fighting for a number of years since the change in the federal administration.”
POLITICO requested tracing data from all of the states showing the percentage of confirmed cases tracers reached and interviews that ended with information on contacts. A total of 14 states and New York City supplied results showing widespread public reluctance to participate in disease tracking as officials were tracking new hot spots and trying to prevent uncontrolled spread. Only a few, including Massachusetts and Vermont, have persuaded the majority of their Covid-positive residents to reveal who they may have infected.
This can be traced directly back to Trump who has gone well out of his to undermine our ability to track the spread of this virus and protect the American citizens.
Without confidence in these programs, we will never be able to gain the upper hand and many more of our citizens will die needlessly.
This is Donald Trump’s legacy.