Courtesy of Business Insider

The US faced yet another coronavirus testing bottleneck this month, as high demand delayed results. In late July and early August, the country’s biggest diagnostic companies, LabCorp and Quest, were taking a full week to return test results.

By the time some people found out they had tested positive, they’d had plenty of time to spread the virus to others.

This led healthcare facilities to get more selective about whom they tested. The result: The weekly average of daily tests is now 13% lower now than it was at the end of July, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The US performed about 708,000 daily tests, on average, over the past week, compared with nearly 818,000 at the end of July. Some states have seen even more dramatic declines: Texas’ weekly average of coronavirus tests administered has fallen 45% in the past month. Arizona’s has fallen by 36%, and Florida’s by 27%.

That’s the opposite direction from where testing should be going, experts say.

“One of the biggest obstacles to containment has been the fact that we don’t have a testing strategy and people don’t know their status,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told Business Insider. “When you look at countries that have been able to contain [the virus], they didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. They tested, traced, and isolated.”

This is why Congress has been asking for more money to be spent on testing, but it does not appear that Trump is interested in increasing the number of tests because that invariably provides data showing that the number of positive cases continues to climb. 

Trump said publicly that the reason the US is leading the world in the number of new Coronavirus cases is that we do more testing, I think this is obviously an attempt by him to address what he sees as the main problem.