US Did More COVID-19 Testing in 8 Days Than South Korea in 8 Weeks: White House

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
March 24, 2020Updated: March 24, 2020

The United States conducted more tests for the new CCP virus in the past eight days than South Korea, widely praised for its extensive testing network, carried out in eight weeks, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Tuesday.

An issue with the first test developed in the United States, by the federal government, caused a weeks-long delay in carrying out wider testing but the Trump administration has quickly ramped up testing capacity in recent weeks with the help of the private sector.

Birx said during a virtual town hall on Fox News that South Korea, which has a population of 51.4 million, tested about 290,000 people. The United States, she said, which has about 372 million residents, has done over 300,000 tests.

“In the last eight days, we’ve done more testing than South Korea,” Birx said.

The United States is carrying out 50,000 to 70,000 tests a day, according to Birx.

President Donald Trump, who also attended the town hall, said it was the first he learned of the statistics.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, which started a tracker of America’s testing capacity, the country could carry out 36,810 tests a day as of March 16. That total was expected to rise until it hit 100,000 or more per day as of March 27.

Epoch Times Photo
Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for the CCP virus in tents set up to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx borough of New York City on March 24, 2020. (Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

According to a worldwide tracker of cases from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has 50,206 confirmed cases of the new virus.

Officials are still concerned about not having enough test kits and urged people, as they’ve done before, without symptoms not to get tested.

“We don’t want people who are just worried to go get tested. If you don’t have a persistent fever, if you don’t have a cough, if you’re not in the risk group, if you’re not a nurse or doctor; we really want the testing … to be very much still focused on the people who need it,” she said. “Because there’s only so much.”

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which emerged in China last year, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

The new virus causes the COVID-19 disease, which is currently killing about 1.3 percent of patients who have been confirmed as having the illness in the United States. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions are most at risk of getting serious cases of COVID-19.

Ways to avoid contracting the illness include frequently washing hands, especially after visiting public places or coughing or sneezing, avoiding sick people, and regularly cleaning objects and surfaces at home, work, and school.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.