The still raging coronavirus exposed a patchwork U.S. health system, in which crashing computers, three-week delays in tracking infections, and very slow delivery of lab results caused a vast failure to identify hotspots quickly enough to prevent outbreaks, reported Politico recently.
"COVID-19 revealed this cobbled-together system's inability to accurately detect when and where the virus was spreading, so public health officials could intervene. Those fissures now loom even larger as the Delta variant makes the quick identification of outbreaks and clusters even more crucial to containing the virus," said the U.S. news website on the basis of a six-month investigation it conducted.
"A sense of surrender was common throughout the pandemic," said the report. Faced with underfunded and understaffed health departments, many state officials said they were not able to adequately identify and contain outbreaks during surge periods.
On a national level, the delays in receiving lab reports and broken chains of transmission impeded the federal government's understanding of COVID-19's spread throughout the country, added the report.