Trump Administration To Cease Funding COVID-19 Testing Sites After President’s ‘Slow Down’ Comments
At his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Donald Trump told the world that he had asked officials to slow down testing for COVID-19, because the results were making him look bad. Though representatives of the president said this was a joke or tongue-in-cheek comment, Trump denied that later, saying, “I don’t kid,” and calling testing a double-edged sword. Now, his administration will cease funding testing sites.
NBC was able to confirm Wednesday that the Trump administration plans to put an end to funding for COVID-19 testing sites at the end of June. A transition to state and community funding was previously slated to begin in April, but funding was extended. Testing is one tool that helps monitor and limit the spread of the virus, allowing even those who are asymptomatic or presymptomatic but still contagious to self-quarantine, and enabling contact tracing.
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) June 24, 2020
However, the president has expressed derogatory opinions on testing multiple times. Forbes reported last month that he had said in a speech at a medical supply distributor, “When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”
While ending testing will stop numbers of confirmed cases from increasing, there’s another number that this move won’t help with: hospitalizations. The CDC has several models estimating how this will go forward, but if the number of patients sick enough to require a hospital continues to rise, an end to testing won’t be enough to hide it.