Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 - March 25, 2020
Dr Sarah Park, Hawaii State Epidemiologist, begins at 39:57 mark – She goes on a 10-minute rant against testing which must be heard to be believed.
Edward Desmond, administrator of the Hawaii State Laboratories Division, begins at 50:00 mark – After listening to Park, he says:
“I just want to add a different perspective based on some news I heard today. Yesterday we were testing just nasal pharyngeal swabs. These require a health care worker to don personal protective equipment (PPE) and collect the nasal pharyngeal swab…. As of today we have been informed the FDA has recommended acceptance of … nasal turbinate swabs … that you can do yourself. So somebody could collect that at home without using personal protective equipment.
For the reasons Dr Park described, I have not been an advocate of expanded testing because we are competing with the hospitals for a very limited supply of PPE. And we are facing the frightening prospect of health care workers charged with taking care of hospital patients—and they didn’t have a mask, they didn’t have a pair of gloves, they didn’t have a gown. So in that situation we did not promote expanded testing….
Now we’re facing a different situation. Its a possibility that (with the new nasal turbinate test) we could (now) do expanded testing because we are no longer in competition with the healthcare workers….