Coronavirus Testing? Blame Bureaucracy.

While serving in the early days of the Trump administration, I saw some of the worst monstrosities the swamp has to offer firsthand, up close and personal. 

About 25% of the federal workforce are hard-charging public servants I’d gladly hire in the private sector. 

Another 25% do their job adequately. But to call the remaining 50% necrotic would be an insult to zombies everywhere. Recently, that bureaucratic incompetence was on full display with the distribution of defective testing kits for the Chinese Coronavirus.

As Reason magazine noted, the testing fiasco was “a catastrophe of top-down, slow-moving, centrally managed government bureaucracy, bound by outdated rules and practices, unable to swiftly adapt to an emergency. It will almost certainly cost American lives and livelihoods.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote “CDC officials botched an initial test kit developed in an agency lab, retracting many tests ... resisted calls from state officials and medical providers to broaden testing, [and] failed to coordinate with outside companies to ensure needed [supplies] would be available.” When the FDA “finally opened testing to more outside labs, a run on limited stocks of some supplies needed for the CDC-developed test quickly depleted stores.” A former CDC official called it a “perfect storm of three separate failures,” … citing the botched test, overstrict FDA rules, and sidelined private labs.”

The bottom line? The federal bureaucracy has failed us again. 

Fortunately, private industry is now stepping in to compensate for the bureaucracy’s catastrophic failure, although as The Washington Post reported, federal health agencies initially declined to certify tests produced by private companies that have proven better suited for rapid mass diagnosis.