COVID-19 Transmission is Solvable



I wanted to star. With a really dumb obvious question, which is, can you describe to me all the ways in which you can look for the presence of virus that you would be? Well, that's not an obvious question at all. Within each virus viruses just like. Any other thing they have a genetic code, and then they have a bunch of proteins and the genetic code of a virus is Arnie, which is akin to a human's DNA, and so the same way that you could do a forensic investigation of a crime scene and use DNA defined if there was a human specific human at the crime scene, you can do a forensic investigation to look for Ra to know if there was an inside of a person so. That's one way and that's this tool that these molecular tools that we call PCR, and then there's a different way instead of using the genetic makeup and the Arna to look for the virus. In this case, you could actually look for the proteins that make up the virus and that's where these antigen tests really shine. So you can either look for the genetic code or you could look for the proteins I like to call these rapid antigen tests, transmission indicating tests. There's one other major way which is a quickly and that's to. Look for the immunological response to the virus, because humans are good at making immune response to viruses. So it's a different way and that's antibody based detection but that's I put it in a whole different category because it usually comes after infection. Yeah. So the first way looking for the aren a is the kind of gold standard that's exactly right and so if I go to the hospital and get a today, get a Cova test, the looking for giving me the using to see if I have fires in my system that's right and what's the cheapest that a PC tests could produce result that actual price of tests can be done for about six bucks maybe. Even less so it can be really cheap, but the differences, the whole infrastructure around PCR test they have to be done in labs. So you have logistics of transport you have all of the people working in the lab robots and and so generally, it really drives the cost up and as we've seen the average test costs anywhere from thirty dollars at the absolute low end up to one hundred and fifty dollars for some labs that are charging in contrast be CR, two antigen tests. How do engine chess? What do they look like? What's their cost in time profile they? They look like a pregnancy test and they work like a pregnancy test actually they can be made. A little piece of paper generally speaking. You put some of the sample whether that be some swab that's been mixed with some saline solution or saliva onto a paper strip, and it shows up with a line turns either for example, red if it's positive or blue, it's negative and those can be made in the in huge numbers. They don't require instruments they don't usually require. There's a few on the market right now that to get the. Sensitivity at the FDA wanted they have some instrumentation associated but in reality, these are used for malaria strep for all these different infections they've been around for very long time and they can be done just on a piece of paper and five minutes and they could get down to you can produce them for fractions of a dollar and they might be sold to the public or built by the government for. A dollar apiece or something along those lines. So you're you've been a the perhaps the leading public proponent public health proponent of. Using Antigen, tests much more broadly to fight this. Derek and I wanted to the first time I. Heard you give this argument you convince me about two minutes. And I still don't understand why why don't we have this system because I can imagine a world where if it's this if they're cheaper easy, then you know every kid before they went to school in the morning. Would take one of these fifty cents or one dollar tests, and if they were positive, they would say home in their negative we would know that could go to school like. If, I want to go to a restaurant, why can't I just sat stand investable the restaurant take test and wait for my response and if I'M If I'm negative I get to go to the restaurant it just strikes me as. This is a way to get going again. Why are we not doing this? Can you explain that I can I have a few theories I. mean they're not just theories. They're they're. In the middle of this. So these tests because of this whole sensitivity issue early in March or really in January the world decided that was the gold standard for these tests and I don't think and I that this will maybe come. We'll come across wrong for some people but there hasn't been enough thought place into what exactly does the PR test mean, and is it the right gold standard? The only pathway that we have to evaluate tests like this in the United States are medical diagnostic pathways there pathways designed specifically to ensure that a physician like a detective is getting all of the information they need to diagnose a sick person in front of them so it's really been. First and foremost a regulatory hurdle we have so devalued and de funded public health across our country and really across the world. That we actually didn't, we don't have a regulatory pathway to approve test whose primary objective is is one of stopping an epidemic verses one of diagnosing sick person and that has really led. That's everything up all of the companies that could be producing these these really rapid tests in the millions and millions they have been sitting on these tests trying to hone them trying to get them just a little bit better just a little bit better so that the so that they can pass FDA standards as a medical diagnostic. It's not just slowing down their approval and getting them out to the public. It's actually bottle necking the company's into creating tests that are not going to be as scalable because they're having to use more expensive reagents they're starting to put them with instruments and package them more. They have to actually become more expensive, highly manufactured tests. When in reality, they're just these little pieces of paper. That if we can do the cheap version of they can be made very fast, but they just won't get through the FDA at the moment

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