Trump says he ‘hasn’t heard anything about coronavirus testing being a problem’ in leaked recording

PRESIDENT Trump reportedly said he hasn’t “heard about testing being a problem” in a leaked Coronavirus call with governors when they mentioned a supply shortage on Monday.

Donald Trump’s comments came as states have struggled to get enough supplies, and often been forced to only test the sickest patients as there are not enough to test everyone.

In a leaked recording, President Trump said he hasn't 'heard about testing being a problem'
Reuters

In a leaked recording, President Trump said he hasn’t ‘heard about testing being a problem’[/caption]

Montana Governor Steve Bullock said the state was just 'one day away' from not having enough tests
Alamy Live News

Montana Governor Steve Bullock said the state was just ‘one day away’ from not having enough tests[/caption]

In the leaked recording, obtained by the New York Times, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, said that as officials “don’t have adequate tests” to identify potential coronavirus cases in people that have come into known contact with someone else known to have the virus.

“Literally we are one day away, if we don’t get test kits from the C.D.C., that we wouldn’t be able to do testing in Montana,” Bullock said.

Bullock added, “…we’re trying to do contact tracing, but we just don’t have enough supplies to do even the testing.”

Trump then responded that he had not heard anything regarding possible test shortages recently.

“I haven’t heard about testing in weeks,” the President said, as reported by the New York Times.

“We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’re coming out with another one tomorrow.”

He added: “I haven’t heard about testing being a problem.”

Trump’s comments came the same day that New York City reported a new coronavirus death every 2.9 minutes, and the U.S. death toll passed 3,000 – greater than the number of lives lost in the horrific terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

Several governors have warned that they are running low on testing kits – a key element in identifying coronavirus cases so people who test positive can limit exposing others, warn people they came into contact with, and receive proper treatment in severe cases.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said Sunday on CNN‘s “State of the Union” that the state was experiencing test shortage.

Things as simple as the swabs. When the little vials — when you put the swab in it to send it to the lab, it needs a particular medium in it to preserve it. We just do not have those simple things,” Inslee said.

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called for federalized testing last week after he said the state was facing a shortage of COVID-19 tests.

“We’re all out there bidding literally against each other. Here in Virginia, we’re bidding against our own hospital systems, other states and the federal government,” Northam said, as reported by WWBT.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee expressed the state was facing a test shortage on Sunday
AP:Associated Press

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee expressed the state was facing a test shortage on Sunday[/caption]

Gov. Ralph Northam also expressed a supply shortage in Virginia last week
AP:Associated Press

Gov. Ralph Northam also expressed a supply shortage in Virginia last week[/caption]

North Carolina's Governor, Roy Cooper, asked Trump for as many supplies as possible
AP:Associated Press

North Carolina’s Governor, Roy Cooper, asked Trump for as many supplies as possible[/caption]

Last week, health officials in Salem, Oregon had to halt testing at three clinics and hospital emergency rooms due to test shortages.

Officials said that due to the shortage, they would have to ration supplies to patients that were hospitalized.

During the Monday call, governors asked Trump for as many supplies as they could get, as states faced shortages on other items like face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) that healthcare workers use when working with COVID-19 patients.

“As much as you can send us is very much appreciated,” Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina said on the call to Trump.

President Trump had previously assured Americans in early March that “anyone who wants a test can get tested.”

Trump’s comments came the same day he showed off a new 5-minute coronavirus test that can be administered at a doctor’s office.

Abbott Laboratories, who makes the test, said they plan to ship 50,000 tests per day, hopefully beginning this week.

Trump holds a new 5-minute coronavirus test kit during a White House briefing
AFP or licensors

Trump holds a new 5-minute coronavirus test kit during a White House briefing[/caption]

As many states struggle to get enough tests and supplies, many major cities worry that they are on the brink of becoming new epicenters in the U.S.

New York is the current epicenter, with over 67,000 of the more than 164,000 cases confirmed in the U.S.

Trump and other experts have projected coronavirus cases in the U.S. may peak in around two weeks – close to Easter – as cases continue to steadily climb.


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