Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said on Thursday that people should not get hung up on a number, when asked if there was a number of tests that the US should be doing.
“We are doing the appropriate amount of testing now to reduce the spread, flatten the curve, save lives – because it’s not the number,” Giroir said during a call with reporters organized by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“I could probably, you know, go do a 100 million tests by testing people on the street, giving them $100 to be tested,” he said. “That’s not what we’re trying to do.”
They are trying to ensure that sick people who need to be tested are tested, protecting vulnerable and high-risk populations, and supporting public health testing in areas where it is important to test a lot of asymptomatic people, he said.
“Don’t get hung up on a number,” Giroir said. “The people who are peddling numbers are spectators, not part of the system. They do not understand how this should be strategically used.”
Giroir said they have proven “time and time again” that doing strategic testing in support of good policy works.
“A number is meaningless unless it’s used appropriately,” he said.
Giroir did, however, say he supports providing supplies so that at least 2% of the population can be tested per month, because it helps to be able to detect outbreaks, which is usually done by a percent positivity.