Self-swab tests would allow people to collect their own samples using a nasal swab, while self-isolating in their homes. They or someone else would then take the sample to an authorized clinical or drive-through testing site and receive their results that same day, making the process simpler and possibly safer.
“There was a breakthrough today for those of you waiting for ‘self-swabbing’ options. Those are going to be available sometime this week to be able for individuals to do their own test,” Dr. Deborah Birx said at a White House briefing March 23.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Birx also quoted “critical” mortality data from Europe, which she said provides “the best insight on how the epidemic is proceeding in those countries,” and reassured American parents that no child under the age of 15 had succumbed to the virus there. “There was the one 14-year-old in China. So we still see that there is less severity in children, and so that should be reassuring to the moms and dads out there,” she said.
Speaking to “Generation Z and to millennials,” Birx said that less than 1 percent of all the mortality is in the under-50 age group and that “99 percent of the mortality coming out of Europe in general is over 50 and with preexisting conditions.”
“The preexisting condition piece still holds in Italy, with the majority of the mortality having three or more preexisting conditions,” Birx said, calling these patterns “reassuring” for all Americans.
However, the task force response coordinator added that it “doesn’t change the need to continue to protect the elderly, and in order to protect the elderly, we all need to do the president’s directives and guidance for the next week of the 15-day challenge.”
Birx also cautioned that New York City and parts of Long Island in New York, as well as Jersey City, New Jersey, now have an “attack rate” of close to one in 1,000, which is five times what other areas are seeing.
“We’re finding that 28 percent of the submitted specimens are positive from that area, where it’s less than 8 percent in the rest of the country,” Birx said, before calling on New Yorkers in the COVID-19 hotspots to “absolutely social distance and self-isolate at this time.”
“Clearly, the virus had been circulating there for a number of weeks to have this level of penetrance into the general community,” Birx said.
At the same briefing, President Donald Trump confirmed that New York will begin treating some patients with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and Z-Pak (azithromycin), which he said “as a combination probably is looking very, very good” and confirmed that it would be distributed to “a lot of people” beginning March 24.
The president said the anti-malarial drug aided in the recovery of a gentleman who “thought it was over” after contracting the virus, but that he had now made a full recovery and was in “good shape.” On March 23, Trump wrote on Twitter the story of Florida resident Rio Giardinieri, 52, who believes he may have contracted the CCP virus at a conference in New York.
Giardinieri told Fox 11 that he suffered from a high fever, back pain, headache, severe fatigue, and was unable to breathe normally for five days until taking hydroxychloroquine, as well as “Benadryl and some other drugs,” before waking up “like nothing ever happened.”