WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, reports out of Axios, The Hill, The New York Times, and Vox illustrate the continuing failure of the Trump administration to implement a rigorous national testing strategy, as backlogs are now causing week-long delays, hampering containment efforts that rely on quick turnarounds and endangering American lives as a result.
Yet, the Trump administration continues to peddle the long dispelled myth that the nation’s high rates of COVID-19 infection are due to its ‘massive testing capability’ — a blatant falsehood that holds no weight among policy experts and testing manufacturers outside the White House doors. Meanwhile, President Trump has attempted to cut federal funding for community testing efforts — putting the already under-resourced public health programs in even greater jeopardy as cases continue to rise.
“The country continues to suffer from an absence of federal leadership that has crippled our pandemic response efforts since the beginning,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Experts have been clear: Without widespread access to testing, we will not get control of the virus. Without the virus under control, our economy cannot fully recover. We need the president to implement an efficient, effective federal testing strategy — not engage in more baseless rhetoric to cover up his administration’s failures.”
“Getting the results of a test often takes take longer than a week, and sometimes almost two weeks, which makes them a lot less helpful. The longer it takes to identify positive cases, the more time the virus has to spread.”
“Now there is more confusion as public health officials warn of shortages of testing supplies, soaring demand and long wait times for results, which have thwarted contact-tracing efforts in places with heavy outbreaks.”
“While testing failures have been a blight on the US response since the beginning of the pandemic, the latest delays reveal a strikingly uneven system that hasn’t been able to scale up to meet spiking demand, stymying efforts to stop the virus’s spread.”
“The president has long suggested that the country’s successful testing system is the reason why so many cases are being reported, even as rates of positive results have also increased in states seeing spikes.”
Accountable.US has been tracking the Trump administration’s testing failures at WhereAreTheTests.org.