WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump administration is trying once again to pass the buck to states on its ongoing failure to ensure a safe reopening of the nation’s economy. On a call yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence reportedly encouraged governors to parrot Trump’s repeated lie that spikes in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. are due to increased testing.
“The administration’s argument that less testing means fewer COVID-19 cases exist is absurd. The President and his allies pushed states to reopen before they had the testing resources to do so safely. Now that coronavirus infections are spiking in states across the country, Trump and Pence again want to shift the blame for their own administration’s failures,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.
After months of failing to provide states with the adequate testing resources, the administration appears to be attempting to cover up its botched pandemic response by prompting state leaders to echo its misleading claims. Meanwhile, the federal government’s recently released testing plan included minimal recommendations for states, leaving them concerned about how to implement equitable, widely-accessible testing for their populations — and putting at risk communities of color and people in lower-income areas, which have experienced disproportionately high rates of infection and death from the virus.