COVID-19 and the Right to Test

Featuring Jessica Flanigan, Jeffrey A. Singer, and Michael F. Cannon

A Columbia University study estimates that imposing social‐​distancing measures one week earlier would have saved 36,000 lives. If so, then the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to block reliable SARS‐​CoV‐​2 diagnostic tests for nearly two months could easily have cost twice as many lives. Rather than speed diagnostic tests to market, the FDA created additional barriers to entry that proved not only unnecessary but deadly.