COVID-19: The Golden State’s Failing Grade

The website — started by two reporters from The Atlantic — reports a startling statistic. Of the more than 59,687 pending Covid-19 tests in the United States, 59,100 of them are in California. This represents 99 percent of all pending tests nationally. It’s not because California is conducting more tests but because its tests are not being completed. Over the past seven days, the state has reported results for less than 13,000 tests, while the rest of the country finished close to 720,000.

Even if tests get completed, they are not reported and tracked. Until yesterday, was using a county health website for some statewide data because, in its words, “The state has been inconsistent in its timing of reporting.” On the night of March 29, the official state Covid-19 webpage had not been updated for over 48 hours. This is not encouraging performance during an epidemic.

I know someone who has been waiting more than 15 days to get test results. Two members of my family who exhibited Covid-like symptoms and were tested just received results, twelve days later. They were told that it would take five to six days.

The reason for this backlog is not clear, but it is surprising, given California’s leadership in biotech. Three of the Top Ten biopharma clusters in the country are in the Golden State.

South Korea showed that widespread testing to identify potential carriers is one of the most successful ways of combating the Covid epidemic. By the end of last week, the United States had finally reached South Korean levels of testing per capita, with over 100,000 tests per day. But California lags the rest of the nation. The state’s immediate public-health situation is not as dire as elsewhere — with twice New York State’s population, California has one-tenth as many deaths and hospitalizations — but its inability to complete testing efficiently raises the specter of a future intensification of the disease’s spread that could be avoided.

Phillip Sprincin is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This article was originally published by City Journal Online


  1. The Captive says

    NOT ACCOUNTABLE — Why? CA is run by the DEMOCRAPS AND they have chosen for years to NOT BE ACCOUNTABLE —such liars to boot!

  2. kellog64 says

    Thus far I would rather be lucky than good looking at our circumstances in California. Newsom has developed the familiar twitch and tell that he is about to something illegal.

  3. Linda Diehl says

    Seems like simple delegation would be the answer. BUT…. who in each county in Calif IS delegated (without Calif’s requisite kick-back)? Are ALL county employees currently not working? Even the one responsible for reporting to CDC? This might be a question for Newsom, but he’s probably (understandably) busy doing something else. This is another organization FAIL in California — yet again and on-going.

  4. Rottweiler says

    I am in the medical field and why would you expect anything less than zero from this State with its leadership or lack of? When they ask you to reuse another’s mask, at the hospital, that will be processed as “clean” one must wonder, “ARE YOU INSANE”? No matter what process they use it won’t be good enough to get me to wear a used or should we call it refurbished? mask. They carp at Trump for not being prepared.This fiasco should be the head Honcho of the Sanctuary State namely Gavin Gruesome to be ready even if it is using masks that have expired. There was supposed to be a large surplus of masks that expired which does not make them unusable but more desirable than using a mask that has been gassed with some unknow toxin while health care givers are the experimental guinea pigs for that project. Gavin is too busy letting murderers out early to care about shipments of necessary tools for the medical field.

    • Heaven help us all, if you are really in “health care”, rottweiler. Got some wacky ideas there. But there is no excuse for this delay- needs more investigation.No just press conferences from another boy wonder who wants to run for president. But we knew that when he got elected.

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