Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday that the White House coronavirus task force is “seriously considering” pool testing for Covid-19 and acknowledged to The Washington Post that the Trump administration’s current testing strategy has proven inadequate.
Although President Donald Trump has repeatedly downplayed the need for increased testing — and suggested last week that he asked for testing to be slowed down — the nation is experiencing a surge in confirmed cases, demonstrating the nation’s inability thus far to get a grip on the spiraling pandemic.
“Something’s not working,” Fauci said of the nation’s current approach in an interview with The Post. “I mean, you can do all the diagramming you want, but something is not working.”
The way “pool testing” works is by mixing together several samples together into a “batch,” or pool, and then test the pooled sample with one diagnostic test. This way you can test a group of, for example, 25 people with one test rather than 25 separate diagnostic tests. If the test comes back negative, then you have eliminated 25 people with one test. If you get a positive result, you go back and test people individually.