Wait, what did the director of the CDC say?
From January 21 through February 23, 2020, there were 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States, all connected to travel from China. The first U.S. nontravel–related case was confirmed on February 26 in a California resident. Two days later, on February 28, a second nontravel–related case was confirmed in the state of Washington.
As of March 11, the U.S. had performed only 23 tests per million people. Conversely, the U.K had performed 347 tests per million, Italy 826 per million, and South Korea 3,692 per million, according to an analysis by multiple media outlets and the COVID Tracking Project.
Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told NPR that the United States’ response was “much, much worse than almost any other country that’s been affected.” In his interview, he included troubling words such as “stunning,” “fiasco,” and “mind-blowing” to describe the situation. The extensive spread of COVID-19 throughout the U.S. after February emphasizes the importance of rapid response by public health systems to emerging infectious diseases.