COVID-19 Testing: Why The Private Sector Can Do a Better Job Than Government
There’s no question that combating COVID-19 is an extremely difficult task from all angles. The Virus is an invisible threat with no clear guidelines on how to be dealt with; but that does not mean we have to make a complicated situation more difficult.
Based on the government’s response, testing demand, and projected timelines, we must put more focus on allowing the private sector to get involved, and most importantly the smaller local labs that can meet the local demand.
It is becoming clear that US governments are incapable of efficiently administering testing at the scale needed, as well as maintaining a safe environment for all citizens, which is in large part due to reliance on outdated testing strategies and a non-integrated systems that do not address the needs of the country as a whole, or individual communities.
There is a huge opportunity to fill this void with state-of-the-art testing products, strategies and equipment, combined with a local approach that understands the communities being engaged, to deliver tailored testing solutions to allow policy makers and employers to re-open with confidence.
By taking the federal government out of the equation and leaving testing up to the private sector, we can perform a much more efficient job by removing politics and sticking to what really matters; science and business. America is founded on capitalism, so why not revert to what we do best? Adapt and overcome obstacles through innovation, not from the elected officials, but from industry professionals who have dedicated their careers to studying disease testing and control.
As CEO of Todos Medical, I’ve been able to work with a team that is focused on the distribution of a comprehensive suite of solutions for the screening and diagnosis of COVID-19 and the development of blood tests for the early detection of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. What I’ve learned is that there are a handful of companies with highly collaborative, like minded professionals who are working around the clock to transition from disciplines like cancer testing to find optimal solutions for COVID-19.
What I’d like to see is more encouragement from the government to leave testing deployment to multidisciplinary collaborative companies who are working together to make big gains in scaling the testing process to match the demand we have here in the United States.
Governments should stay focused on what they are best at: paying for solutions that work. Private industry should stay focused on developing innovative solutions that reduce costs and improve outcomes. There is no question that unlike the cost of most diseases, COVID-19’s costs must account for overall economic costs, so that the solutions developed can address the outcomes required to open the economy again.
The private sector can do this if government provides the needed infrastructure funding needed to increase lab capacity, and cuts the red tape stopping common sense solutions from being implement. As pool testing becomes the testing method of choice over the summer for the needed asymptomatic (COVID+ & COVID-), we must integrate this into our strategy.
We must now marry the information we have learned over the last 6-8 months about COVID-19 with concrete actionable plans that address the bottlenecks required to make people feel safe. There will be risks with every plan, however a plan that systematically reduces risks in a stepwise fashion and isolates those risks so the Virus can be contained is what must emerge.
Together with our partners at Meridian Health and Moto Para, we are able to bring such plans to the marketplace expeditiously.
Gerald Commissiong is CEO of Todos Medical. He is currently a director, President & CEO of Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. and is interim-CEO of Breakthrough Diagnostics, Inc., Todos’ joint venture with Amarantus.