Hanks Case Amplifies US Failures In Virus Response

The New York Times reports:

Tom Hanks had a cold, or so he thought: slight fever, body aches, chills, the usual. In the United States, those symptoms may not be enough to get tested for the new coronavirus. But he and his wife, Rita Wilson, who also felt sick, weren’t at home — they were in Australia. Here, testing is free and widely available, thanks to early and coordinated planning for a pandemic. On Thursday, Mr. Hanks said he and his wife had seen the efforts firsthand, as they tested positive for the virus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, still bruised from a failure to react quickly to the country’s bush-fire crisis this summer, set an emergency coronavirus plan in motion on Feb. 28. That same day, state and territory health ministers met to discuss plans for testing, stockpiling medication and opening special clinics that would keep potential coronavirus patients out of regular emergency rooms.

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