The United States government hit a historic milestone over the weekend under President Donald Trump by issuing more than five million coronavirus tests.
The president announced that the United States had issued more than five million tests. Local hotspots in the U.S. have conducted more tests per capita compared to Singapore and South Korea.
Trump wrote on Saturday, “We have now Tested more than 5 Million People. That is more than any other country in the World, and even more than all major countries combined!”
We have now Tested more than 5 Million People. That is more than any other country in the World, and even more than all major countries combined!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2020
To continue building on these efforts, he signed legislation last Friday that would provide $25 billion for increased coronavirus testing.
A Donald Trump administration official told Breitbart News that the president has ramped up coronavirus testing after starting with little infrastructure.
The administration official said:
President Trump has revolutionized our testing system in record time to meet the unprecedented demand of this pandemic. Starting from scratch, the Trump Administration has performed more than 5.4 million tests in less than 45 days – far more than any other nation. We are laying the groundwork for a safe, effective recovery so we can get Americans back to work and get the economy roaring again.
The president’s administration has moved to eliminate red tape to increase innovation and get Americans access to testing as soon as possible.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commission Stephen Hahn said on Friday:
As part of these efforts to support diagnostic test development during this global pandemic, the President has asked us, and under his leadership, to actually cut down as many barriers as we possibly could to get medical products into the medical community, and we have done that, of course recognizing the urgency of the situation.
The FDA expedited the testing process to allow some laboratories to use validated coronavirus tests before their Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) had been completed. The FDA also allowed states to authorize labs to develop and conduct tests within their borders.
The FDA has moved to approve emergency authorizations for dozens of diagnostic and antibody coronavirus tests.
“To date, under our emergency use authorization approach, we’ve quickly reviewed and authorized 63 tests, both diagnostic, as well as serologic — that is the antibody test,” Hahn added.
Giroir told Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle that serological testing can help determine who has built an immunity to the coronavirus and help the country reopen.
Last week, the FDA authorized the first at-home collection of testing for coronavirus. Hahn said:
And this week, as the president said, we authorized the first at-home test by a company called LabCorp. This is a test where, under certain circumstances, with a doctor’s supervision, a test can be mailed to a patient, and the patient can perform the self-swab and then mail it back and get the results after that time — all under the guidance of a licensed physician.
The Trump administration’s expansion of coronavirus testing means that the United States now outpaces South Korea in per-capita testing.
Establishment outlets such as PBS have attacked President Trump for not testing as much as South Korea but have ignored the results of Trump’s coronavirus testing expansion.
Hot spots such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Louisiana have now also outpaced South Korean testing by more than double.
President Trump inherited a pandemic testing system that was not designed to process the unprecedented number of tests needed for the coronavirus pandemic.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said in March:
If you want to get the kind of blanket testing and availability that anybody can get it or you could even do surveillance to find out what the penetrance is, you have to embrace the private sector. And this is exactly what you’re seeing, because you can’t do it without it…the system was not designed for what we need.
Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, pushed back against Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) testing plan.
Giroir said on Monday:
Well, my response is the blueprint we did yesterday was meant to outline the roles and responsibilities as well as the core objectives of a testing and rapid response program. I guess Senator Murray just does not understand the details what have we’re doing on a state-by-state basis. Our team has contacted and are working with every single state, D.C., Puerto Rico to define really the specifics of what that state need as cording to their state re-opening plan and the two percent really is sort of a minimum floor. There are many states that want to do four percent, six percent, eight percent, every month. We have the supply chains figured out. We know what we can supply the states so we are much more sophisticated. The overall strategy is a strategy. It’s not a state-by-state plan. That’s what we’re doing individually with the states.
Giroir also pushed back on assertions that America will need to test millions of people per day to reopen the country.
So, we don’t believe those estimates are really accurate, nor are they reasonable in our society. What we’re talking about, the two percent number, let’s just put that in context. Two percent per month is almost double the per capita rate that South Korea has achieved over the last four months accumulated. This is a massive amount of tests and in many states we’ll be doing four percent, six percent, eight percent according to the state guidelines.
President Trump charged on Tuesday that the establishment media continues to complain despite the historic quantity of testing the country has been able to achive.
Trump wrote, “We are doing far more, and better, testing than any other country in the world, and yet the media does nothing but complain.”
He added, “No matter how good a job is done, the same as with the ventilators, they will never say we are doing a great job, they will only viciously gripe!
We are doing far more, and better, Testing than any other country in the world, and yet the media does nothing but complain. No matter how good a job is done, the same as with the Ventilators, they will never say we are doing a great job, they will only viciously gripe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2020