Why the U.S. coronavirus testing failures were inevitable
Years of underfunding and a crucial laboratory mistake led to weeks of delay—and the virus’s undetected spread.
Leah Craig stepped out of her car and into a nightmare. Days after developing a sore throat, the 29-year-old started coughing uncontrollably, something her asthma only made worse. By the evening of March 18, Craig was struggling to breathe when she opened an email from her synagogue in Los Angeles that said a member who’d attended the previous week’s Purim celebration had tested positive for COVID-19.
She and her fiancé, Soren, promptly drove to the hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where a nurse in the emergency room grabbed a plastic swab akin to a long Q-Tip and inserted it deep into Craig’s nasal cavity.
Whereas South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany have been able to return results in under