The White House likely relied too heavily on testing as a coronavirus mitigation tool, experts said Sunday.
Boston University's Dr. Nahid Bhadelia appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and told host Chuck Todd that when it comes to this pandemic, "no one thing is a silver bullet," even a "pillar" like testing, which is a "diagnostic" tool. "You need to follow that up by having all those additional measures" like mask-wearing and social distancing — which reports have indicated were not taken as seriously as testing in the White House — so that "if someone does turn out to be positive, the others who may have been exposed to that person don't get sick," Bhadelia said.
Testing is “diagnostic ... The dose of virus that you get exposed to may decide your severity and not wearing a mask exposes you to a larger dose of the virus.” pic.twitter.com/now3F2w9TD
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 4, 2020
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, appearing on CBS News' Face the Nation, agreed with that sentiment, telling host Margaret Brennan that the White House was "relying almost solely on testing as a way to protect" President Trump, who eventually contracted the virus. "They weren't taking any precautions beyond testing people who were going to be in contact with the president," Gottlieb said, adding that while the rapid test used by the White House "is a very good test when used appropriately," it, by nature, is likely to miss asymptomatic cases.
Bhadelia did say, however, that routine testing still proved to be helpful for the White House since infections were seemingly detected early.