To the editor,
In 2017, my grandmother suffered a stroke that left her completely paralyzed on the left side of her body. As time has progressed, she has been confined to her bed, where she is dependent on oxygen tanks and feeding tubes. My grandmother is one of the many immunocompromised people who are the most susceptible to COVID-19.
As the cases of COVID-19 continue to spike around the world, it is imperative that we find a solution to protecting the public health and safety of our communities. We are calling on Adm. Brett Giroir, M.D., the 16th assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to establish a coordinated plan in which the number tests and testing services increase, so that the spread of the virus can be monitored and treated in a timely manner. We’ll need to be able to test everyone who has been exposed and test for antibodies to know who has already had COVID-19, and we will need a national, coordinated network that can conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and those they have been in contact with.
I am a student at the University of California San Diego and an intern with California Public Interest Research Group Students. We have gathered more than 1,000 petitions from the Student PIRGs statewide on this campaign, and now we know that getting there will take a massive push working with health professionals, states and federal agencies. We as an organization urge that a revamped plan for testing is formed, so that individuals like my grandmother are better protected and so civic life can be resumed soon.