Railing against the dearth of testing for coronavirus, the Food and Drug Administration emphasized the importance of making testing widely available, so that treatment of Americans demonstrating cold-like or flu-like symptoms can proceed exactly as it otherwise would have.
Symptoms of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, can include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn explained, "There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 other than the usual things you do to treat its symptoms." Hahn noted that early testing for coronavirus will enable people to move quickly into taking measures like hand-washing, drinking lots of fluids, and getting plenty of rest.
Because symptoms of a coronavirus usually go away on their own, Hahn pointed out that it is that much more critical to determine early on whether a person has coronavirus, before the person makes a full recovery. “Otherwise, we might never know that they even had COVID-19,” said Hahn. “And we’re very curious.”
When questioned as to whether COVID-19 testing might be unnecessarily expensive, and even superfluous, given that the recommended course of treatment for coronavirus is no different from that suggested to treat the flu or the common cold, Hahn agreed completely. “That’s exactly the point,” he said. “But without more testing, how will we ever raise awareness of this life-threatening mass epidemic?”