Coronavirus: White House to provide $11b to states for testing despite 'held their hands' jab

Coronavirus: White House to provide $11b to states for testing despite ‘held their hands’ jab


Coronavirus: White House to provide $11b to states for testing despite ‘held their hands’ jab

Coronavirus: White House to provide $11b to states for testing despite ‘held their hands’ jab

Coronavirus: White House to provide $11b to states for testing despite 'held their hands' jab 1

The White House will devote $11b to bolster coronavirus testing across the country, with officials saying 9m new tests will be available later this month as they continued to put the onus for testing on governors. One senior administration official took a shot at some governors, saying the White House has “held their hands” on testing.

The official contended, echoing Donald Trump, that “America has been leading the world in Covid testing,” even as public health officials, physicians and Democratic legislators continue calling the administration’s testing effort slow and inadequate.

The president was slated to announce the $11b in testing aid to states during a 4 p.m. press conference in the White House Rose Garden. Those funds were allocated by Congress in one of the massive coronavirus relief packages that Mr Trump signed into law.


There have been 8.9m tests conducted so far in the United States, with the official telling reporters the country likely will pass the 10m tests performed mark by the end of this week. There were 1.9m tests conducted last week, the senior administration official said.

But public health experts like a group at Harvard University have said the country needs to be testing around 900,000 each day.


Like the president, the senior official said repeatedly that states are responsible for getting their residents tested.

“We have now given the tools to the states … to complete their testing goals,” the senior official said. “We’ll work with them.”

But the senior official, also echoing the president, grew defensive when asked why testing help for states to prioritise care facilities for seniors was not prioritised months ago when Covid-19 was decimating such a care centre in Washington state.

The official said it is “not a miracle” that states are meeting their individual testing goals – many are not, others are coming just shy of doing so — because “we’ve held their hand and we’ve explained to them how to do it.”

“And now they’re taking credit,” the senior official said.

The 9m extra tests expected this month are “point of care tests,” the official said, adding that the White House has asked states to submit testing plans in a few weeks. Those should include “contact tracing” proposals, a practice meant to help track where someone contracted the virus and to whom they might have spread it.

Experts say contact tracing can help state and local officials isolate those who have contracted or have been exposed to the virus.


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