It’s a “utopian” idea to get a Covid-19 test every day, Giroir says, and “I don’t live in a utopian world”

Admiral Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Tuesday he doesn’t want to answer any more questions about when every American can quickly and cheaply get a Covid-19 test.

“It’s great to talk about this utopian kind of idea where everybody has a test every day and we can do that,” Giroir said. “I don’t live in a utopian world. I live in the real world and the real world had no tests for this new disease when this first started.”

The assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, who is leading Covid-19 testing efforts, said that the country now has a “huge diversity” of tests, including a $5 point of care test that provides results within 15 minutes. 

“There is no stone unturned, there is no technology that we’re not looking at, or investing in if it’s promising,” Giroir said. “We can return to society without having everyone have a test every single day. We can do that. We’re showing we can do that.

“There may be a time where everybody can wake up in the morning, pass through a tricorder and tell whether they’re infected or not, we are not there yet,” Giroir said, referring to a fictional handheld device from the “Star Trek” universe that can scan and record data by waving the instrument over someone.

Giroir said the administration has been “trawling the world” for technology that will advance testing.

“So, I don’t want to answer any more ‘when is that day going to happen,’ because I can’t tell you,” Giroir said. “It may never happen.

“But until it does, if it ever does, we have a plan, the plan’s working, and we’re embellishing that plan every single day.”

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