Donald Trump has a new testing plan, released in a report to Congress and called “COVID-19 Strategic Testing Plan.” It is, of course, neither strategic nor a plan. It’s telling the states to do it, and “holds individual states responsible for planning and carrying out all coronavirus testing.”
Congressional Democratic leaders are not impressed. “After six months and nearly 100,000 lives lost, the Trump Administration still does not have a serious plan for increasing testing to stop the spread of the virus,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Congressman Frank Pallone, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Patty Murray, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor & Pensions said in a joint statement. “This disappointing report confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states.”
“The Trump Administration still does not take any responsibility for ramping up our nation’s testing capacity, instead pushing the burden onto the states—forcing states to compete with each other to procure vital supplies to administer tests from the private market,” the lawmakers said. Except for the cotton swabs! The administration is pledging to send those out; 100 million of them by the end of the year. That’s the “strategic plan.” Cotton swabs.
“To reopen our economy safely, we need testing to be free, accurate, reliable and accompanied by tools like contact tracing so we can slow the spread of the virus and prevent outbreaks,” the lawmakers continue. “Senator McConnell must stop obstructing the House-passed Heroes Act, which would deliver a clear strategy and $75 billion for the testing and contact tracing necessary to stop the spread of this vicious virus.”
Meanwhile, Wuhan, the center of China’s outbreak, managed to test 6.68 million people in 12 days.