'Single point of failure': The CDC's past successes with an FDA process set the table for coronavirus testing debacle

'Single point of failure': The CDC's past successes with an FDA process set the table for coronavirus testing debacle

SEATTLE — In late April 2009, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, then the Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner, received an urgent weekend phone call from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Dr. Rich Besser told Sharfstein that the CDC — and by, extension, public health departments nationwide — faced a serious problem.Less than two weeks earlier, the CDC had identified a virulent new strain of swine flu in a 10-year-old patient in California. Within days, the novel strain cropped up in another California child, two patients in Texas, a cluster in Mexico a...


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