Trump says governors playing 'political game' with virus tests

Trump says governors playing 'political game' with virus tests

Trump says governors playing 'political game' with virus tests

Mr Trump previously insisted the presidency had power over state governors to rule when lockdown restrictions should be lifted. In his daily briefing, he said that some governors have "more capacity than they understand".

The bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus said Monday the federal government must take the lead on implementing rapid mass testing for the novel coronavirus, and pushed back on President Trump's effort to lay the responsibility on state governors.

The president compared Democrats' push for testing with widespread concerns over a lack of ventilators as coronavirus cases were spiking and as health officials - including the president's advisers - grew increasingly anxious that hospitals would be overrun without social distancing measures and without mobilizing equipment.

Watch above, via The White House. "We are helping them more than a lot, actually". The Associated Press obtained audio of the call.

Pence said the administration sent an email to officials in each state on Monday detailing current testing capacity by state.

But Trump then discussed criticism from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, who said he was forced to get the crucial materials from South Korea due to a shortage. Pence agreed to open up federal labs to help states.

"There are some people that don't want to do that much testing, but we're going maximum, we're going to the outer limits, and I think that's the way probably it should be".

But he said it's "just not going to be possible", for society to wait until the fall to start to reopen, so states need to "take this very slow". The John Hopkins dashboard shows 617,555 people have so far been tested in NY, a state with 19.5 million population.

Labs at academic medical centers his group represents still face shortages of testing supplies, "whether it be swabs, whether it be reagents, whether it be the little plastic tubes", McKinney said.

"It should be a local thing because it is all these points within states", said the president. She said during the pandemic FEMA has been distributing roughly half of its supplies that way and half directly to counties or individual hospitals.

Trump's disagreement with the NY governor was one of several stoked last week. "Now they scream, 'Testing, Testing, Testing, ' again playing a very unsafe political game". In turning to the Defence Production Act, the Trump administration is taking a page out of its strategy on ventilator equipment.

Public health experts say the country needs to dramatically increase its testing infrastructure if it is going to safely roll back restrictions and reopen businesses without risking a major spike in infections.

Harvard researchers told CNN that for the country to reopen and remain open, testing must go up to at least 500,000 people per day by May 1.

White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said late last week that the United States' testing supply is will be adequate to begin the first phase of a three-phase reopening plan aimed at allowing some non-essential functions to resume, but getting those tests to those who need it is an issue. "And that's what's being done right now, to try to make the connectivity between what's unused capacity as well as tests within that capacity to help them", Fauci said.

Separately, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced Monday that the US, Mexico, and Canada have agreed to extend restrictions for nonessential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days, one sign of a recognition by the federal government that limitations need to continue for some time.

Coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx said Friday she is leading a team that is calling labs across the country to find out what supplies each of them needs.

"We really need help", Republican Gov Mike DeWine of OH said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press". He told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The State of the Union" on Sunday that the state doesn't have enough swabs.

Gretchen Whitmer, governor of MI, said "we could double or even triple the number of tests that we're executing daily if we had the swabs and reagents".

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