COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Congressman Warren Davidson said only 10 percent of people given COVID-19 tests in Ohio have tested positive for the virus. Davidson said this during a telephone town hall meeting on Wednesday evening with constituents and officials from the Small Business Administration in the Columbus office.
The statement in response to a question from a constituent who asked if the government was making testing a high enough priority.
“There weren’t enough tests early on,” Davidson said. “It was a virus that didn’t exist and the FDA regulated process was holding up the launch of test kits in the U.S. Early on, Congress removed some of the restrictions for the FDA.
“In Ohio, we only had 10 percent test positive. They had superficial symptoms. Now there are the finger print tests where you can give blood and the first saliva tests have just been approved.”
Davidson said testing in the U.S. has been at a much higher level than in other countries, but it still needs improvement. During an interview with WDTN.com on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman said only 0.6 percent of Ohioans had been tested so far for COVID-19 and more general testing would be needed for the country to start relaxing restrictions.
“Neither the major test manufacturers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would say how common false negatives are,” the artile stated. “While the FDA requires test-makers to report any known instances of false negatives as a condition of granting them provisional approval, known as emergency use authorizations, no such reports are visible in a database the agency maintains for that purpose.”
But with the sudden onset of the fatal and contagious virus, tests were needed quickly. Davidson said a new test that takes blood from a fingerprint is now in use. He said the FDA recently approved a saliva test for COVID-19.
Paycheck Protection Process a success
Davidson said some parts of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act have worked better than others.
The Congressman from Ohio’s Eighth District said the Economic Indury and Disaster Loans were overwhelmed before the program was put into operation.
“The program was over-subscribed,” Davidson said. “Congress appropriated a fix amount of money and more people applied for it than possible to disburse the $10,000 payment.”
He said the Paycheck Protection Program has worked better.
“We just passed this two weeks ago and from when the program passed until now, we’ve handed out billions in funding,” Davidson said. “The $3.5 billion already appropriated is already on fumes and we need to get (more funding) approved.”
Davidson said more funding could be approved this week, but may stretch into next. He said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer are wanting to make changes in the plan, including different data analysis. Davidson said he preferred to keep the plan as it is since it has momentum and has been working.