Montreal Gazette / YouTube C te St Luc drive through 1585778358.jpg...
Montreal Gazette / YouTube

On Friday, March 13, Donald Trump stood in the Rose Garden of the White House alongside the CEOs of mega-corporations like Walmart, Target, and Walgreens. Together they announced there would be nationwide testing done in the parking lots of the huge retailers. Huzzah! Only days after the market tanked because of coronavirus fears and whole industries shut their doors, this was welcome news and the market responded. The Dow Jones jumped 1,985 points over the previous Friday.

Nearly three weeks later, where are all these critical drive-thru testing locations? I could link to a website to find the one closest to you, but there are only five locations. According to CNN, those three retailers have more than 30,000 locations, but only five are set up for drive-thru testing: “One drive-thru at a CVS in Massachusetts, three at two Walmarts and a Walgreens in the Chicago area and another at a Rite Aid in Philadelphia.”

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 13: Walmart CEO Doug McMillon shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump after he announced the declaration of a national emergency in reaction to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic in the Rose Garden at the White House March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is facing a national health emergency as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and 30 people have died from the virus in the United States, according to The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Here’s another little glitch: CNN reports testing in those locations is still very limited. “Almost all of the locations are offering coronavirus testing only to first responders and health care workers, and some offer it only to those who fall under those categories and are showing symptoms.”

Not to take anything away from those health care workers and first responders, because they absolutely, positively need to be tested, but we also need mass testing to figure out where we are in this pandemic. As CNN notes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has tested approximately 34,000 people after various community centers, but that is a drop in the bucket for a nation of 327,000,000 people.

Like all things Trump, that March 13 press conference in the Rose Garden was more about creating the appearance of effective leadership and strong partnerships between the public and private sectors. The CEOs were little more than props in a made-for-television production. The reality is this is one more failed test of the reality show president.

And be fair, these CEOs could be doing a lot more, starting with guaranteed sick leave for all employees (now and forever) and protective gear for all front-facing employees.

At the end of the day, forget four more years of this reality buffoon. There are many days where I question whether we can withstand four more months of this deadly incompetence.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. Wasn’t Jared’s OSCAR Website to be up and running to identify the locations of these purported country-wide testing stations?


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