What happens if you build the monkeypox industrial testing complex, but no one comes?
Mayo Clinic Laboratories, for example, has the capacity to process 1,000 monkeypox samples a week but has received only 45 specimens from doctors since starting monkeypox testing July 11. Another of the labs, Aegis Sciences Corp., can do 5,000 tests per week but has received zero samples over the past two weeks. At Labcorp, one of the largest commercial labs in the US, uptake has been higher but still “extremely low,” according to Dr. Brian Caveney, the lab’s president of diagnostics.
Two possible conclusions.
1. Monkeypox isn’t a significant problem outside the orgy community.
2. People are suffering from monkeypox PTSD and need to be yelled at about getting tested.
Those numbers are “shocking,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a member of the California Department of Public Health’s Monkeypox Virus Scientific Advisory Committee.
“This is really, really concerning. It’s like Covid PTSD,” he said, referring to the early phase of the pandemic when coronavirus testing was extremely limited. While the anxiety is the same, the reasons are different because for Covid-19, the testing capacity was low, and for monkeypox, the capacity is plentiful but the demand is low.
Which should indicate that there’s no crisis. But there’s investment in creating the crisis nonetheless.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, described testing as a “pillar” of the government’s monkeypox response Tuesday on CNN. He and other health officials have repeatedly assured Americans that there’s high capacity to handle testing, with labs capable of processing 80,000 specimens per week. Most of that capacity – 70,000 specimens – is in the private labs.
Except that there’s still no interest in getting tested. So it’s time for more alarmism.
Testing is a major part of the monkeypox containment effort for two reasons: It’s the first step to identifying and isolating patients, and it gives public health officials an idea of the scope of the outbreak and which geographic areas need the most resources.
“Without testing, you’re flying blind,” said Dr. William Morice, chair of the board of directors of the American Clinical Laboratory Association and president of Mayo’s lab. “The biggest concern is that you’re not going to identify cases and [monkeypox] could become an endemic illness in this country. That’s something we really have to worry about.”
We know where resources are needed. We know where the outbreaks are centered. But Fauci and the same public health experts who shut down schools, churches and synagogues refuse to shut down the orgy scene. Instead, they’re back with threats about monkeypox becoming “endemic”.