April 23, 2020
Trump’s Failure to Scale Testing is Prolonging This Health and Economic Crisis
While President Trump and Governor DeSantis consult with business executives, health experts are sounding the alarm that testing needs to be dramatically expanded before safely relaxing social distancing measures. According to Harvard researchers, testing nationally and in Florida needs to more than triple prior to effectively reopening the economy. Despite health experts' concerns, Trump still does not have a plan to institute mass national testing.
Trump’s broken promises on testing by the numbers:
48 days since Trump falsely claimed that “anybody who wants a test can get a test.”
33 days since the Trump administration promised they would have 27 million tests by April 1st -- as of yesterday, they have completed just 4.2 million tests.
Testing in the U.S. has plateaued at around 145,000 tests a day, roughly one third of the tests health experts say is needed to reopen the economy
As DeSantis listens to big business executives, Florida Democrats highlight warnings from health experts to increase testing:
Sarasota Herald Tribune: Coronavirus Florida: Democrats want lockdown maintained until testing improves
Republican governors across the Southeast are teaming up to reopen the region’s economy, even as they lack the testing to know how rapidly the coronavirus is spreading.
One health expert called the political decision a “perfect storm” for the virus to reassert itself.
“[Antibody] tests may face much of the same lack of availability as their diagnostic counterparts. In some cases, the screenings require the same mixing liquids that are in short supply for those earlier tests, potentially sparking another round of fierce competition between states, cities and counties — and even the federal government — all vying for the same limited resources as more places begin immunity testing.”
Democratic and Republican governors bristled at claims from the Trump administration that the supply of tests was adequate to move firmly toward reopening the country.
Shortly after his televised comments, Azar tapped a trusted aide with minimal public health experience to lead the agency’s day-to-day response to COVID-19. The aide, Brian Harrison, had joined the department after running a dog-breeding business for six years. Five sources say some officials in the White House derisively called him “the dog breeder.”
April 23, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Frances Swanson