A plan to defeat coronavirus finally emerges, but it’s not from the White House 
By William Wan

Posted: April 10, 2020.

A national plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and return Americans to jobs and classrooms is emerging — but not from the White House. The White House has no federal policy plan!

Instead, a collection of governors, former government officials, disease specialists and nonprofits are pursuing a strategy that relies on the three pillars of disease control: ramp up testing to identify people who are infected. Find everyone they interact with by deploying contact tracing on a scale America has never attempted before. And focus restrictions more narrowly on the infected and their contacts so the rest of society doesn’t have to stay in permanent lockdown.

But there is no evidence yet the White House will pursue such a strategy.

“It’s mind-boggling, actually, the degree of disorganization,” said Tom Frieden, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director. The federal government has already squandered February and March, he noted, committing “epic failures” on testing kits, ventilator supply, protective equipment for health workers and contradictory public health communication. The next failure is already on its way, Frieden said, because “we’re not doing the things we need to be doing in April."

“All people are talking about right now is hospital beds, ventilators, testing, testing, testing. Yes, those are important, but they are all reactive. You are dealing with the symptoms and not the virus itself,” said Tolbert Nyenswah, who led one of the most successful contact tracing efforts in Africa during the 2014 to 2016 Ebola epidemic. “You will never beat a virus like this one unless you get ahead of it. America must not just flatten the curve but get ahead of the curve.”

Wan William, "A plan to defeat coronavirus finally emerges, but it’s not from the White House," The Washington Post, April 10, 2020.  Wan: Plan to defeat coronavirus April 10, 2020