Producing hundreds of millions of cheap, disposable self-test devices—much like the pregnancy self-test devices one can buy at the dollar stores—is well within our capabilities (perhaps with some help from Chinese factories), and it solves two huge problems at once.
First, with carriers isolated, within a few weeks the virus disappears, killed off by people’s immune systems (and, unfortunately, in a small percentage of cases, the virus dies when it kills its host).
With only half measures on the table, economic agony and a massive loss of life are assured worldwide for months or even years. Universal testing, on the other hand, has the potential to halt the spread of the virus and destroy it completely just weeks after testing devices have been widely distributed.
Under the U.S. Defense Production Act, President Trump has the power to implement universal testing immediately. If he takes the lead on this, his actions might well prove to be his legacy.