By Nikki Schwab, Senior U.s. Political journalist for Dailymail.com
President Trump announced on Monday that the federal government would help states do enough coronavirus testing for companies to open their doors again, but the federal government would only provide testing as a “last resort.”
“We are continuing to rapidly expand our capacity and I am confident that we have enough tests to start the reopening and the reopening process,” Trump said at the press conference on Monday. “Testing won’t be a problem at all, in fact it will be one of the great assets we have. “
Bloomberg and Fox News Channel reported details of the plan before President Rose Garden appeared, including that the federal government would aim to provide states with enough tests to screen at least 2% of their residents, intensifying testing from May to June.
President Trump said testing “is not going to be a problem at all” because he said the United States has enough coronavirus testing capabilities to start reopening businesses.
A Los Angeles sheriff takes a COVID-19 test on Monday using a swab. President pledged to get more swabs from states for coronavirus testing
If governors wanted the ability to test more than 2% of a state’s population, the White House will work with them, said the Fox News Channel.
Federal government tests target elderly and minority populations, who are seeing higher death rates from the virus, said Bloomberg.
To date, more than 5 million COVID-19 tests have been administered in the United States.
The government’s goal is to test anyone with symptoms, as well as first responders and medical personnel. Surveillance tests will be used to detect pockets of the disease in at-risk communities, such as the elderly living in nursing homes.
On Monday, the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly released two documents – an overview of the tests and a test plan – that set out federal and state responsibilities for coronavirus testing.
“Our plan describes how states should unleash their full capacity,” said the president.
The survey showed that the tests were already in step eight of an eight-part plan.
According to the White House, the last step was to coordinate with the govenors “to support test plans and rapid response programs.”
In the three-phase “Open America” guidelines released earlier this month, so that states move through each phase, “robust tests” had to be in place, while cases tended to decline.
The administration stressed its role in the document released to the public on Monday.
The federal government would provide accelerated regulatory approvals for testing and test equipment.
The governors have asked the federal government to allow the use of slightly different swabs and chemicals in testing to compensate for supply chain problems. The message has been received, said members of the White House Coronavirus task force.
The federal government would also work with the private sector to develop “innovative diagnostic tests”.
The federal government has said it will only act as a “last resort” test provider, the document said.
Trump has long wanted tests to be the responsibility of governors, not the general assembly.
At Monday’s press conference, he said they received help from the White House last week by simply being pointed at their state’s laboratories.
“Very few have understood that we have a huge capacity,” said Trump of the governors, a statement he also made last week. “Then, a week ago, we provided each goveronor with a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of laboratories where they could find additional testing capabilities in their condition.”
The president said the move had “skyrocketed” testing in recent days, with 200,000 COVID-19 tests completed on Saturday. “It will double very soon,” said the president.
“Our plan describes how states should unleash their full capacity,” said Trump. “So we are deploying all the power and force of the federal government to help the states, the cities, to help the local government stop this horrible plague over and over again,” added the president.