Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Republican politician Ben Carson may be an actual doctor and a literal brain surgeon, but he somehow fundamentally misunderstands how sickness works, if his recent comments about the pandemic are any indication.
In an echo of former Republican President Donald Trump so dead-on it borders on parody, Carson, who for some reason was Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, recently told Fox News that the U.S.'s shortage of COVID-19 tests is actually a good thing.
Why? Because it means there are fewer "positive people" with the virus who will need medical attention. That is of course not how literally anything works, let alone diseases.
So naturally, Carson's take on the situation has many people banging their heads against the wall.
See his comments below.
Carson's preposterous take on the pandemic came during a conversation with Fox's Martha MacCallum about Democratic President Joe Biden's plans for increasing the country's testing capacity, including sending free rapid test kits to every home in America.
But most experts agree that those kits are almost certain to arrive after the current surge in Omicron variant cases has already peaked--which Carson thinks is a good thing, for some reason. As he put it:
“It’s quite clear the tests are not going to arrive in time. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing, because the more tests you have the more positive people you’re going to have.”
No, the more tests you have the more confirmed positive people you have, Dr. Carson. Because the tests are not the infection? You probably learned this in medical school?
Carson went on to further clarify his point, which didn't help things at all.
“We need to be more measured in who we’re testing. To just go out widely and test everybody when you have a virus that is spreading this fast and you don’t have a plan to deal with it, all you’re doing is adding to the confusion.”
Carson was presumably talking about the overrunning of American hospitals with positive COVID-19 cases. But people are not admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 because they test positive. They're admitted because they're, you know, very, very sick, and sickness is not caused by testing.
Your reminder that this man is--and we cannot stress this enough--a literal brain surgeon. And if you're sitting there with your mouth hanging open at the ridiculousness of these statements, you are not alone--Twitter basically lost its collective mind.
Carson comments are basically an exact replication of former President Trump's take on testing in the early days of the pandemic. Trump took his anti-testing stance so far that he actually ordered officials to slow down testing initiatives so that the U.S.'s astonishingly high case numbers--among the worst in the world during 2020--would decrease.