Larry Brilliant says rapid Covid tests are bad for public health

Second, the longer this virus persists, the more variants we will have. We don’t know exactly what makes a variant, but for sure one factor is immunocompromised people who have the virus in their system for longer – not 17 days like me , but months. The body cannot completely remove the virus. You have created the ideal environment for restructuring, restructuring.

Another problem is that we don’t handle numbers well because we never test, right?

What if I said to you that antigens, those rapid home tests we all use now, are bad for our public health? It would be foolish to approve antigen tests without requiring positive cases to be reported.

How will you perform?

through technology. Building automated reporting technology is not difficult.There is now a class at home Molecular testing That can already be done. They are almost as good as PCR tests.

Aren’t those more expensive?

The only thing that makes them expensive is the lack of scale. Now, we can get an antigen test for just $5. If you’re doing a billion molecular tests, you can also reduce costs.

When these molecular tests were submitted to the FDA for approval, they said all positive results should be reported. This makes them much better than antigen tests, which are very useful on the back end of a disease when you’re trying to determine if you’re still infectious. But the first two days were bad because of the high rate of false negatives. Between the false negatives and the fact that they are not reported to public health, antigen tests are dangerous to public health.

Will you ban them?

I will normalize them.

About vaccines. The one we have rivals the original version of Covid, which is nowhere to be seen. So why don’t we have a “warp” effort? specific vaccine For newer variants?

We did. Both Pfizer and Moderna have vaccines for Omicron on the horizon. You seem to be asking why we don’t have a BA.5 warp? We call this process “whack-a-mole”.

So will new vaccines better protect us from infection?

I hope so. You will have more immunity to Omicron. But BA.5 itself does not necessarily respect previous Omicron infections. Vaccines will better prevent you from being hospitalized or dying, though.but we should start talking BA.2.75. It appears to be the next car on the train. And it came quickly.

Are we already on the next one?

It has been found in several states. We just get more variants.

There is debate over whether people who should get the booster dose should get it now or delay until the fall of the new vaccine.

I am very cautious. I don’t want anyone to get a new vaccine in the next two or three months. [Note: White House officials have said that anyone immunocompromised or over the age of 50 should get a second booster if they haven’t done so already.]

If you go back to our first conversation in March 2020, it seems unlikely that we will continue to talk two and a half years later and still face huge numbers.

Why are you surprised? I wrote an article called “forever virus. “

Will we go back to a previous era? When we don’t have to be careful, we can eat indoors, go to Broadway shows without masks and feel safe?

These are two different questions. Will we get to a point where there is no Covid? No, there will always be Covid.

Will we get to the point where we go to Broadway shows without masks? Yes. We may have let the coronavirus infect the world in a pandemic-like fashion before. Then the virus gets into the coronavirus in nursing homes, which we call the “cold virus.” They have a little spin. That’s why you get two or three colds a year. They feel the same to you, but they are different viruses. That’s because the immunity they give you only lasts about a year or two.

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