Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CNBC on Tuesday that the US must continue investing in rapid testing of the coronavirus in order for corporate offices to reopen in earnest.
“There are many technologies that enable quick tests, and with quick tests companies could be opened. People could go to work,” Schmidt said “Squawk Box.”
But America does not yet have a sufficient test infrastructure to be able to conduct extensive turnaround tests on a large scale, said Schmidt, who a Group organized by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to help New York State improve its economy in the wake of the coronavirus.
Schmidt criticized the politicians in Washington for not taking rapid tests into greater account in earlier aid packages. “In those trillions of dollars, we haven’t put the structures in place to run quick tests,” he said.
Testing for the coronavirus in the United States has improved over the past few months after facing a number of challenges in the early stages of the pandemic. But summer is rising again in some cases, especially in the American south and west Burden on test results processing time and illustrated the remaining defects.
However, Schmidt refers to a different type of coronavirus test than the usual laboratory-based diagnostic tests. There was a growing urge for rapid tests this leads to results in just a few minutes. Some of these rapid tests would be done at home. Others could be delivered to offices or schools.
Although these tests would likely be processed cheaper and faster, they do exist Concerns about their accuracy in the detection of infections. And inaccurate results from a rapid test could create confusion, such as earlier this month when Ohio Governor Mike DeWine mistakenly tested positive for a planned visit to President Donald Trump.
Schmidt said in his opinion: “The test specificity and accuracy of this [rapid] Test systems are pretty good now. However, they are not yet generally available. It’s a tragedy. ”
Schmidt, who was the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, said further investment in testing for Covid-19 is needed as the virus will continue to circulate for years to come, albeit not at an epidemic level.
“The virus will be with us in one form or another for the rest of our lives, hopefully just like the flu is under control. We will need test forms to make sure we keep it under control,” said Schmidt, who kicked off Tuesday a podcast called “Reimagine with Eric Schmidt,” This is where talks are held with world leaders about rebuilding a world that has been changed by the coronavirus.
In the short term, Schmidt said strict adherence to the wearing of face masks and more generally available rapid tests was vital. With both of them he claimed: “We could go back to work.”