WASHINGTON, D.C. – On NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, Vice President Mike Pence continued to blame state governors for the nation’s lack of widespread COVID-19 testing capability. Pence said:
“…we really believe that while we’re doing 150,000 tests a day now, that if states around the country will activate all of the laboratories that are available in their states, we could more than double that overnight and literally be doing hundreds of thousands of more tests per day in a very short period of time.”
In reality, the Trump administration wasted weeks of valuable time in January and February that could have been used to bolster the nation’s COVID-19 testing capacity. Reporting yesterday revealed that contamination at a Center for Disease Control (CDC) lab caused a month-long delay in producing and widely distributing test kits. And in those same months, the administration reinforced roadblocks that hindered hundreds of non-government public health labs from quickly assisting in ramping up COVID-19 testing efforts.
In recent days, governors including Ralph Northam and Larry Hogan have loudly pushed back against President Trump’s claim that states have adequate testing resources.
“The Trump administration spent weeks mismanaging its coronavirus response, and now it’s trying to scapegoat state governors for its failures,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The federal government should be supporting states in obtaining adequate testing resources, not passing the buck to them because it failed to do its job. It’s time for President Trump and Vice President Pence to stop pointing fingers and get down to business getting states the resources they desperately need.”