Although Trump Says the U.S. Is Performing More Than 200,000 Tests a Day, Fmr. US Ebola Official Says It’s ‘Not Near Enough’ To Consider Reopening

Although Trump Says the U.S. Is Performing More Than 200,000 Tests a Day, Fmr. US Ebola Official Says It’s ‘Not Near Enough’ To Consider Reopening

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Janet Ybarra
Democrat
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Despite an increased level of testing for the novel coronavirus in the United States, it’s still not adequate to think about a large-scale lifting of the lockdown conditions which have largely closed the US economy, according to a former federal official who coordinated the US response to an Ebola outbreak several years ago.

In the United States, there have been 957,875 reported cases of COVID-19, including 53,922 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Touting his administration’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump announced that in April, the United States averaged approximately 150,000 tests per day.

“That’s up very, very substantially from couple of weeks before. And the 150,000 a day has gone to way over 200,000 tests per day since Wednesday,” Trump said Monday, adding, “There are currently 73 retail testing sites in 25 states, in those specific areas, and we are increasing it very substantially. A lot of progress has been made for African-American testing, Hispanic-American testing and Asian-American testing.”

Despite the progress Trump claimed, it’s still not enough to start loosening the extreme lockdown conditions in place to slow the spread of the virus, but have also shuttered much of the US economy for weeks, according to the former federal official who oversaw the US response to the Ebola in late 2014 into early 2015. 

“I mean, you know, what the president talked about today was going from roughly 150,000 tests a day to about 225,000 tests a day. That’s nowhere near enough. It the not what any expert, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, has nothing to do with politics” has said, explained Ron Klain, Ebola response coordinator. “I think almost everyone thinks you need at least maybe 500,000, 700,000 tests a day.”

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