As the Coronavirus crisis becomes increasingly severe throughout the U.S., the Trump White House continues to scramble to contain a spreading pandemic that, for weeks, they chose to ignore.
According to reporting by the Washington Post, nearly one month after the COVID-19 genome was published, a step that enables the development of diagnostic tests, the Trump Administration had issued just 4,000 of the 160,000 Coronavirus tests the CDC had initially made. In recent days, testing has begun to speed up in states across the country, but only after widespread delay, urgent pleas from governors and health care providers across the nation, and misinformation waged by the Trump White House against the virus.
In another sign of confusion from the White House, on March 3, Vice President Pence declared any American could be tested for the novel coronavirus – and just two days later had to walk that back after realizing that the U.S. was inadequately prepared to perform the scale of widespread testing seen in countries like South Korea and China – which have successfully contained the crisis.
Trump’s own Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, plainly admitted on March 10 that the department was not aware of how many tests had been performed in the United States thus far. “We don’t know exactly how many,” Azar said.
The continued failure by the Trump Administration has been long in the making for a White House that was warned of the rapidly developing nature of this virus months before it apparently crossed U.S. borders. Lawmakers have accused the president of “dangerous incompetence” when it comes to his handling of the crisis thus far.
Beginning on January 22, and repeatedly since, Trump has gone on the record to state that he believed the virus is “under control.” However, according to the latest reports, the total number of infected U.S. persons has risen to staggering 9,400 – and is growing by the day.