A nurse in California who seemingly caught the deadly SARS-CoV-2019 coronavirus while caring for a patient has, via Business Insider, published a scathing critique of United States’ officials response to the outbreak.
Writing from quarantine, the anonymous nurse unloaded on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for putting her on a waiting list for a coronavirus testing kit.
“This is not the ticket dispenser at the deli counter; it’s a public health emergency!” she wrote. “I am a registered nurse, and I need to know if I am positive before going back to caring for patients.”
She wrote that she volunteered to treat a coronavirus patient at the facility where she works under the assumption that she would be properly cared for if she herself became infected.
Though she wore protective gear, according to the letter, she started to feel sick. And since her symptoms lined up with what other COVID-19 patients are experiencing, she was put on a 14-day self-quarantine.
That’s when the trouble began. According to the letter, CDC authorities refused to test her because of the puzzling rationale that, if she’d been properly wearing her protective gear, she wouldn’t have gotten infected.
“What kind of science-based answer is that?” she wrote. “What a ridiculous and uneducated response from the department that is in charge of our health in this country.”
Later, she said, CDC officials changed the story, saying they weren’t able to provide a test because her symptoms weren’t severe enough.
The anonymous nurse found that explanation outrageous: How is she supposed to go back to work, she wrote, if she doesn’t know if she still could be infectious to patients and other members of the medical staff?
“I am appalled at the level of bureaucracy that’s preventing nurses from getting tested,” she wrote. “That is a health care decision my doctor and my county health department agree with. Delaying this test puts the whole community at risk.”