Hysteria and panic are forms of fear and fear is an irrational emotion. As more test kits become available, more people will test positive with the implication that the disease is spreading faster than it actually is. The real question is not how many people have actually mounted an immune response, but how many people are actually compromised by their disease—a very different question. If 20% of the population is at risk for complications, this is the group that should be monitored.
Public health is concerned with population dynamics and not concerned with clinical issues like taking care of sick patients—where our resources should now be focused prospectively. The testing is an issue itself. If we are in a pandemic then shutting down society is appropriate and testing of those with symptoms and who are young and healthy is pointless. Knowing that there is at least a 20% false negative rate means you would be treating everyone with symptoms the same way especially in a pandemic.
Put another way—clinically, it is the symptoms that are important not the test result. For the public health people they want the test result to use as a denominator in their PP (pathologic potential) ratio roughly speaking symptoms/infected. Death/infected = mortality rate. If the mortality rate of 80% of the population is zero there is no CLINICAL reason to even test them.
The public health people would happily take all the scarce resources available. Deploying scarce resources and making them available to sick patients and those at risk will be the job of politicians. When the President starts to redeploy these resources—money, to hospitals drugs and medical consumables, then the media will say he is not following the advice of “the experts”.
There are too many experts and not enough great leaders with common sense. And the news media have a vested interest in creating fear and panic—irrational emotions. Spring will soon come. The economy will bounce back. And in November, Trump will be reelected because of his steady leadership.