Since CDC and FDA haven’t authorized public health or hospital labs to run the [coronavirus] tests, right now #CDC is the only place that can. So, screening has to be rationed. Our ability to detect secondary spread among people not directly tied to China travel is greatly limited.
That is from Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the FDA, and also from Scott:
#FDA and #CDC can allow more labs to run the RT-PCR tests starting with public health agencies. Big medical centers can also be authorized to run tests under EUA. For now they’re not permitted to run the tests, even though many labs can do so reliably 9/9 cdc.gov/coronavirus/20
Here is further information about the obstacles facing the rollout of testing. And read here from a Harvard professor of epidemiology, and here. Clicking around and reading I have found this a difficult matter to get to the bottom of. Nonetheless no one disputes that America is not conducting many tests, and is not in a good position to scale up those tests rapidly, and some of those obstacles are regulatory. Why oh why are we messing around with this one?
For the pointer I thank Ada.