WASHINGTON, D.C. – New reports out today illustrate that five months into the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., the Trump administration is still failing to implement the robust testing infrastructure necessary to curb the spread of the pandemic and keep Americans safe. President Trump suggested in late June that the nation should “slow the testing down” in order to keep down the country’s number of COVID-19 cases, and followed his comments with plans to cut funding for community testing sites.
Despite clear calls from public health experts for widespread, accessible testing, the nation is reportedly conducting about 17% fewer tests daily than it was a month ago, dropping from over 800,000 tests a day to approximately 715,000 — including in states where cases are rising — putting public health in greater jeopardy and potentially diminishing the accuracy of data on infections as cases appear to drop on average alongside the drop in tests.
Experts are also raising concerns about the Trump administration’s data collection: a group of former and current members of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee raised red flags about the administration’s private COVID-19 database, saying it is “placing an undue burden on hospitals and will have ‘serious consequences on data integrity.’” The warnings follow the administration’s decision to move control of daily COVID-19 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to a data platform built by Palantir, a company owned and operated by longtime Trump ally and donor Peter Thiel.
“It’s been months, and still the Trump administration has failed to fulfill its commitment to make COVID-19 tests widely available and accessible,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Experts have made it clear that a robust national testing infrastructure is necessary to properly combat COVID-19. But rather than heed their advice, President Trump called for testing to slow down in an apparent attempt to cover for his administration’s failed pandemic response strategy. Lives are still on the line — the president needs to ensure that everyone who wants a test can get one.”
Learn more about the administration’s ongoing failures on testing at WhereAreTheTests.com.