The Director of the CDC has stated “vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don`t get sick.” Yet vaccinated Americans have to take a Covid-19 test before flying back to the United States and vaccinated travelers from the U.K., which has far less Covid-19 per capita than the U.S., remain banned from even entering the country.
But what if Covid-19 testing requirements are actually spreading the virus?
We already know that results can be faked, especially since the U.S. accepts results from labs all over the world and doesn’t take steps to validate the information provided – just requiring airlines to check whether the information supplied on a test report is ‘all there’.
And when testing is expensive and inconvenient, people revert to fake tests. They shouldn’t but it’s a reality to contend with. Any regime meant to limit virus spread needs to be set up based on how people actually behave.
It turns out that some people who are following the rules, and getting tested for travel, may be getting the virus from their Covid-19 test itself. That’s because, as one airport bust shows, the mechanism for specimen collection in some parts of the world are being reused.
Several employees of a pharmaceutical company have been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly washing and reselling used Covid nasal swab test kits.
Up to 9,000 passengers at an airport in Medan may have been tested with the reused swab sticks, say police. …Police said they believed the scam had been happening since last December at Kualanamu airport in Medan, North Sumatra.
There is a concern not just over false positives from the test (positive results from one passenger contaminating the results of the next) but also spread of virus from one passenger’s nasal swab to the next.
And before you just to the conclusion that this is one bad actor, pursuing a profit by cutting costs while risking safety, because capitalism… the company that did this – Kimia Farma – is government-owned. So it’s a corrupt state manager who used profit from the scam of US$124,800 to “to fund the construction of a lavish house.”
At this point in the pandemic the U.S. isn’t going to keep the virus out. Neither will most other countries. It is already here and spreading. We aren’t going to keep mutations out, either – not only are they already here, but the virus seems to mutate in predictable and similar ways throughout the world. So as long as it’s here it’s likely to independently mutate, even if we keep travelers out.
U.S. travel and testing restrictions are incredibly porous. Americans may have to present a negative test to re-enter the country by air, but not to re-enter by land or sea. And land borders make it impossible to follow a path like New Zealand or Australia in any case.
Yet there are actually people potentially getting the virus, it seems, by going for testing in some parts of the world.