In social communities a rumor has spread that asserts the Trump administration refused assistance from the WHO in the form of guidance and test kits. Circulating with this assertion is an additional rumor that asserts the Trump administration attempted to buy exclusive rights for a Covid-19 vaccine from a private company.
This was circulating on popular social platforms and below are my responses to these assertions.
The idea that “Trump” refused test kits is false. As far as I know, this claim is based on a comment made recently by Joe Biden, A WHO official directly addressed the claim and also clarified the context1http://social.lifeonthecurb.com/bidentestkitclaim.pdf. I looked this up because I remembered a similar question was brought up in one of the representative meetings last week. A health official was asked why we didn’t have testing done on the scale that South Korea had done. The health official went into some detail about why. The short of it was that the CDC chose a different method, the test kits were not compatible, so it’s not like we could just buy them from South Korea2https://youtu.be/hBSW0Cx7X3A?t=3338. Some of these details are described in the laboratory guidance3https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/laboratory-guidance?fbclid=IwAR3wSOISuVwefa2RpUpqU3HM_Rg8F9F4NXdAoJqgV6MkEVbeQLgMvpun1JI from the WHO and the Wuhan Virus Essay
The companies response to the allegations made in the original article. https://twitter.com/CureVacAG/status/1239535638359281664
Neither of the claims, refusing test kits and trying to buy exclusive rights were true. Additionally, according to statements from the WHO, each country develops their own, that is the normal process. The WHO explains that they provide test kits to countries which do not have available infrastructure. The Global Health Security Strategy (GHSS)4http://social.lifeonthecurb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/GHSS.pdf developed in 2019 outlines the approach we see being put in place now. That includes the private partnerships with Walmart, Target etc that are mentioned at the conference5https://youtu.be/DeTYINvuWM4?t=1385. This is how and why we are now implementing the South Korean model. Previously, due to regulations (as mentioned in footnote), even if the tests were compatible we wouldn’t have been able to import those from South Korea. Since that hearing which transpired a week ago, those regulations have been relaxed in order to move on bringing more testing to the US6https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-expanding-state-approved-diagnostic-tests/.