Four top Democrats accused the Trump administration of not having a real national strategy for coronavirus testing.
“After six months and nearly 100,000 lives lost, the Trump administration still does not have a serious plan for increasing testing to stop the spread of the virus,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. Frank Pallone, and Sen. Patty Murray said in a statement Monday.
“This disappointing report confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility, and dump the burden onto the states,” they added in the Memorial Day statement.
In an 81-page report to Congress on Sunday, the administration put the responsibility on individual states, not the federal government, to conduct testing to help curb the spread of the virus.
While pushing for states to reopen, Trump has insisted states have enough testing capabilities, even as some states and health facilities report shortages in testing supplies.
“In this document, the Trump administration again attempts to paint a rosy picture about testing while experts continue to warn the country is far short of what we need. We still need clear explanations for how targets were set, how they will be met, and what will be done if they are not. The Trump administration still does not take any responsibility for ramping up our nation’s testing capacity, instead pushing the burden onto the states — forcing states to compete with each other to procure vital supplies to administer tests from the private market,” Democrats said.
Under the coronavirus relief package signed into law in April, Congress devoted $25 billion for testing. The law required each state to submit a detailed plan for testing to the Department of Health and Human Services. It also required the department to submit a national testing strategy to Congress.
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