Trump warns governors that there are ‘no excuses’ for not testing residents, despite ‘useless’ test kits
President Trump has now told governors that it is their responsibility to get the coronavirus testing “perfected” after several states complained that the White House kits were unusable.
“Governors, let your states perfect test programs and devices,” Trump ordered in a Tweet on Sunday evening. “Be prepared, big things are happening. No excuses!
“The federal government is here to help. We test more than any country in the world. Get ready with facial masks too, ”he continued.
Trump’s latest comments come days after the federal government bought a fleet of fast coronavirus testing machines – capable of delivering results in 15 minutes rather than days – and began spreading them across the country last week.
President Trump has told governors that it is their responsibility to test residents for coronavirus, warning that there are “no excuses” for inaction, despite several states warning that the test kits provided are virtually useless
Trump unveiled the plan to distribute Abbott testing machines about two weeks ago – calling them an “ all-new ball game ” in the fight against the pandemic. Every state except Alaska received 15 machines, regardless of the population or the severity of the outbreak.
But the excitement among the governors who praised the prospect of running up to 3,000 tests per day quickly dissipated shortly after the testing machines arrived from Abbott Laboratories.
The frustrated parties said that the machines were actually inactive because they were not getting enough supplies to use them, as many of the machines arrived with only 120 cartridges, enough for about 100 tests.
“There was a lot of talk about this device, there was a lot of national hype about it, and it’s great, and when they came, expectations were very high,” New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told a news conference on Wednesday.
“But to actually have 13 of these devices and not be able to use them, I hit my head against a wall. I’m real. It is really frustrating. ‘
The federal government has been vehemently criticized for nationwide test failures that have paralyzed the U.S. response to the coronavirus, which has made more than 534,000 Americans sick and killed at least 21,692 people as of Sunday evening.
Trump unveiled the plan to distribute Abbott testing machines about two weeks ago – calling them an “ all-new ball game ” in the fight against the pandemic. Every state except Alaska received 15 machines, regardless of the population or the severity of the outbreak
However, the excitement among the governors who praised the prospect of running up to 3,000 tests per day dissipated soon after the Abbott Laboratories test machines arrived – because they were not getting enough supplies to use them
Public health officials, including members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, have acknowledged the testing errors, while President Donald Trump has claimed the system is the strongest in the world.
The President has also repeatedly suggested that the US is the world leader in tariff testing, as he repeated in his tweet on Tuesday evening.
To date, 2.8 million coronavirus tests have been conducted nationwide, according to the COVID tracking project, which represents less than one percent of the population – a lower percentage per capita than many other countries.
So while it’s technically true that the U.S. has tested more people physically than any other country, Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. is leading the world in terms of testing rates is incorrect.
As for Trump’s insistence on putting on face masks, the government told Congress last week that the federal government’s emergency supplies were depleted and states would stop receiving shipments of personal protective equipment.
Trump first advocated the use of non-medical face masks on Friday, but insisted that he would not follow the instruction and said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to do it … Wear a face mask if I salute presidents, prime ministers dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it. ‘
Public health officials, including members of the White House Corona Virus Task Force, have acknowledged the testing errors, while President Donald Trump has claimed the system is the strongest in the world
The President’s last orders come just a day after a Report from the New York Times described the numerous instances in which senior White House officials and other experts attempted to encourage Trump to take proactive action against the Coronavirus outbreak in January and February, but the cries were deaf.
According to the report, Dr. Carter Mecher, senior medical advisor at the Department of Veterans Affairs, once an expert who urged White House senior officials to shut down schools nationwide about six weeks before President Trump finally took action to address the danger grab that the nation was. faced.
“You made fun of me for yelling to shut down the schools,” Mecher wrote to the country’s public health bureaucracy, as reported by The Times. “Now I scream, close the colleges and universities.”
Despite the warning and several similar alarms from top White House executives, Trump repeatedly played down the severity of the virus ‘and chose to turn his attention to’mastering the message, protecting profits in the economy and dismissing warnings from senior officials. ‘
To date, 2.8 million coronavirus tests have been conducted nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project, which accounts for less than one percent of the population – a lower percentage per capita than in many other countries
When asked about ongoing testing deficits by the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) spokeswoman Mia Heck said states can order more supplies through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Heck explained that the federal government bought limited quantities of Abbott machines for state laboratories because it also wanted to give hospitals enough to buy them.
She did not respond to a question as to why 49 states received the same number of tests and machines.
Governor J.B. Illinois-based Pritzker said he spoke to Abbott, who is based in his state, more than a week ago and signed an agreement to run 88,000 tests per month or about 3,000 per day.
After the federal government took over the purchase and distribution of the tests, Illinois received much less than Pritzker expected.
“That’s eight tests per machine for all of Illinois,” said the Democratic Governor.
In New York, the epicenter of the American outbreak, their Abbott machines would not be used until they had purchased enough cartridges to make them practical.
In Louisiana, with the highest COVID-19 contamination rate in the nation, Governor John Bel Edwards said he had hoped to deploy Abbott machines across the state to keep health workers working while retaining personal protective equipment.
“We have the machines, but not necessarily the cartridges, to make a big difference,” said Edwards.