Press Release Coronavirus Health and Social Programs US

Daily Growth of COVID-19 Cases Has Slowed Nationally over the Past Week, But This Could Be Because the Growth of Testing Has Plummeted


April 03, 2020

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

We Need to Flatten the Curve of the Virus, not the testing for it, CEPR Co-Director says

Washington, DC — The growth of COVID-19 cases in the United States has slowed considerably over the past week. As can be seen in Figure 1, the average daily percentage increase in confirmed cases fell from 33.6 percent, for March 13–26, to 16.8 percent for March 27–April 2.

However, this could very well be due to a leveling off of the increase in testing for the disease, which occurred over the same period. This can also be seen Figure 1. The average percentage increase in tests per day fell from 31.3 percent to just 13.7 percent, in comparing the same two periods (March 13–26 with March 27–April 2).

Figure 1. Increases, COVID-19 Testing and Cases

“We need to ‘flatten the curve’ of the virus, not the testing for it,” said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

“The sad thing is that this data shows how little we really know about the level and spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States,” he said.

“Many public health and epidemiological experts agree that we need mass testing in the United States to get better information on how COVID-19 is spreading and where. It’s much more difficult to stop the spread of a disease when you don’t have good information on these basic facts.”

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