Truth About Government & COVID-19 Testing

Truth in Medicine - Covid Testing

January 2022

Mount Sinai South Nassau ‘Truth in Medicine’ Poll: 80 Percent of Metro Area Residents Say Government Is Failing in COVID-19 Testing, Needs to Do More

  • More than 60 percent fear pandemic will last another year

More than 80 percent of metro area residents say the government should be doing more to make COVID-19 testing more readily available to the public, according to the latest Mount Sinai South Nassau “Truth in Medicine Poll,” sponsored by Bethpage Credit Union.
 
A clear majority—57 percent—hold the federal government most accountable for lack of available testing, the poll showed, while 15 percent said the state government is to blame.

The poll was conducted before the federal government began an effort to make free test kits available for every household in the United States, including distributing them via the Postal Service and requiring insurers to cover them at no charge.

“The lack of available testing has been an Achilles’ heel of the COVID-19 response since Day One of the pandemic,” said Adhi Sharma, MD, President of Mount Sinai South Nassau, who recalled the initial days of the pandemic when tests were tightly controlled and results would take up to two weeks. “More testing enables those who suspect they may have been exposed to get information, stay home if they have a positive result, and help stop the spread to others.”

Other key findings of the poll include:

  • Most residents are not optimistic that the virus has run its course. Some 63 percent of respondents to the poll—conducted during the first week of January—believe the pandemic will last at least another
  • More than 60 percent of respondents support mandatory mask-wearing in private businesses, theaters, schools, courthouses, and places of worship
  • A vast majority of the poll respondents—80 percent—strongly support offering newly emerging antiviral pills and medicines to all patients with COVID-19 and not prioritizing them for the unvaccinated, as some health officials have urged. This sentiment holds true even among unvaccinated respondents, with 80 percent believing antibody treatments and antiviral medicines should be available to all people.
  • A significant number of residents—43 percent—continue to put off routine well visits, such as an annual physical, dental or eye exams, mammograms or blood pressure screenings, the poll found.

“During the past two years we repeatedly have seen patients come to the hospital with more advanced disease that might have been prevented had it been caught and treated earlier,” said Dr. Sharma. “Putting off well visits is not a wise choice and could lead to serious consequences for you and your loved ones. I strongly advise that you should not hesitate to seek care out of fear of COVID-19. You may be putting yourself at greater risk by staying home and delaying needed treatment.”

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