Apr 27, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus testing increasing, but still not good enough

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The good news is that the number of daily coronavirus tests is going up again. The bad news is that it's still not nearly enough for the country to safely reopen.

Why it matters: If we don't know who has the virus, we can't stop it from spreading without resorting to stringent social distancing measures.

Driving the news: On Saturday, Anthony Fauci said that the U.S. is testing roughly 1.5 million to 2 million people a week, but "we probably should get up to twice that as we get into the next several weeks, and I think we will."

  • Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said yesterday that "we have to realize that we have to have a breakthrough innovation in testing." She said we'll need tests that can detect antigen, or the part of a pathogen that triggers an immune response.

Between the lines: Testing has been hampered by shortages of supplies like swabs and test kits. There has also been a lack of coordination between labs with excess testing capacity and communities struggling to meet testing demand.

What we're watching: Some major cities and states — including New York and California — have begun to expand testing beyond the sickest patients, which is a good sign.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Health experts fear that the protests breaking out across the U.S. could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

The state of play: Being outside may limit the danger, but close quarters, yelling, and potential exposure to tear gas, which causes coughing and crying, increase the risk of spread. It's recommended that those who are protesting be tested for the coronavirus.

May 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Protestors rally in Minneapolis. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Health experts fear that massive protests against police brutality in major cities around the United States could result in new coronavirus outbreaks due to the close proximity of demonstrators, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already recorded more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. A potential surge in cases stemming from the protests would come as many states are weeks into their phased reopening plans.

May 31, 2020 - World

U.S. sends Brazil 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine and 1,000 ventilators

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

The White House announced on Sunday that the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to Brazil and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well as the South American country becomes the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: The situation in Brazil, which has reported over 498,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 28,000 deaths, is threatening to spiral out of control as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro faces mounting criticism for downplaying the severity of the virus.