The problems with our coronavirus testing are worse than you think

How we got here: The testing shortfall has been a multi-phase failure.

For reasons that remain unknown, the U.S. did not rely on the World Health Organization’s coronavirus test in the earliest days of the outbreak. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set out to make its own.

But the CDC’s test didn’t always work. Manufacturing had to be relocated following a possible contamination. And it has taken time to come up with a new one.

Regulatory red tape slowed down academic labs that wanted to jump in and develop their own tests, and capacity among private-sector labs is still ramping up.