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Reblogged:The CDC Said No.

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Or: Central Planning Gave the Epidemic a Head Start

Writing at Reason, John Stossel puts out a good summary of how central planning is responsible for the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic within the United States. The following, in particular, should be shouted from the rooftops, because it accounts for the greatest obstacle to fighting this disease that we  face: the lack of testing early on.
Our medical establishment, at the start of this marathon, thanks to the CDC. (Image by Tony Rojas, via Unsplash, license.)
COVID-19 deaths leveled off in South Korea.

That's because people in Korea could easily find out if they had the disease. There are hundreds of testing locations -- even pop-up drive-thru testing centers.

Because Koreans got tested, Korean doctors knew who needed to be isolated and who didn't. As a result, Korea limited the disease without mass quarantines and shortages. [bold added]
But here in America?
When the new coronavirus appeared, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its own tests and insisted that people only use those CDC tests. But the CDC test often gave inaccurate results. Some early versions of the test couldn't distinguish between the new coronavirus and water.

Private companies might have offered better tests, and more of them, but that wasn't allowed. The World Health Organization even released information on how to make such tests, but our government still said no. Instead, all tests must go through the government's cumbersome approval process. That takes months. Or years. [bold added]
Many are saying Flatten the curve! now, but a different slogan should inform any post mortem: The CDC said no.

At the time when the functionaries staffing this agency should have risen above the desire for prestige in the name of its stated purpose, they chose to protect their turf, rather than our health.

Remember this when Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and the like propose to make every aspect of the medical sector resemble the CDC, by taking over the rest of it.

Set aside the whole question of whether it is right for the government to run an industry. (It isn't.) Government officials are not gods. Like us, they have limited knowledge, they can make mistakes, and they can succumb to the desire to look good. This example should make it apparent that it is foolish to place so much power over our lives into the hands of a few. A free, decentralized medical sector, with numerous talented individuals -- competing to profit by solving difficult and important problems -- sounds much better by the day.

-- CAV

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