Donald Trump's attempt to blame governors for the lack of adequate nationwide coronavirus testing by falsely claiming there are plenty of available tests was shot down by governors of both parties on Sunday.
"They don't want to use all of the capacity that we've created," Trump falsely stated at a Sunday press conference. "We have tremendous capacity. ...They know that. The governors know that. The Democrat governors know that; they're the ones that are complaining."
Trump is wrong, according to Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland."To try to push this off, to say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow we aren't doing our job, is just absolutely false," Hogan, who is also chair of the National Governors Association, said Sunday on CNN.
"It's not accurate to say 'there's plenty of testing out there and the governors should just get it done.' That's just not being straightforward," Hogan added.
Hogan was not the only governor to call out Trump's lie.
"That's just delusional to be making statements like that," Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) told CNN on Sunday. "We have been fighting for testing," Northam said. It's not a — it's not a straightforward test. We don't even have enough swabs, believe it or not. And we're ramping that up. But for the national level to say that we have what we need and really to have no guidance to the state levels is just irresponsible, because we're not there yet."
Scientists at Harvard University estimate that the United States needs to test between 500,000 and 700,000 people per day in order to be able to reopen the economy by mid-May, the New York Times reported on Friday. Currently, the country is testing less than 150,000 people per day on average.
On March 10, Vice President Pence vowed that 4 million tests would be available by the end of the week. On March 13, Trump promised 5 million tests would be available by the end of March.
The administration broke those promises.
More than a month after Pence and Trump made the declarations, the number of Americans tested stood at 3.6 million on Friday, according to the Times.
The Trump administration was slow to ramp up testing after refusing to use a testing protocol published by the World Health Organization, and then an initial test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was flawed.
As of Monday morning, there are more than 753,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to the New York Times, and at least 36,109 people have died.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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