GOP Chairman Defies Trump Administration, Says ‘Millions’ More Tests Needed
The Trump Administration has been eager to reopen the American economy, but there are serious concerns about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the area of curve flattening and testing.
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) sharply disagreed with the reopening efforts until many more tests are performed. Senator Alexander said:
“To test every nursing home, and every prison, everyone in an operating room, and some entire classes and campuses and factories, teams at sports events, and to give those tests more than once, we will need millions more tests than we’re producing today.”
“This demand will only grow as the country goes back to work and some 100,000 public schools and more than 5,000 colleges plan to reopen this August.”
Testing has been a grave concern throughout the pandemic, as it has been discovered for months now that asymptomatic or barely symptomatic people can carry the virus and spread it to others without ever knowing that they are sick. This is the reason behind shutting everything down and requiring social distancing to keep the vulnerable safe and to stop the spread of the virus further throughout the nation. Still, though, there are protests and an urgency to reopen the economy, regardless of the actual state of the pandemic.
Senator Alexander said that the United States had, a quote, “bumpy start” to containing the spread of the novel coronavirus, but that the situation was quickly being rectified. He referenced a “Shark Tank” contest to amp up the testing, which seems to be working. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, said, In 27 years at NIH I have honestly never seen anything move this quickly.”
Democrats, though, continued to fault the Trump Administration for slow testing. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), said, “It shouldn’t be lost on us how far behind we are on testing.”
Testing will be key to halting and preventing further spread of the pandemic.