Home / US / Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million previously advertised Covid rapid tests

Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million previously advertised Covid rapid tests

The White House originally billed the deal to get tests, which are done by Abbott Laboratories, as a potential tipping point in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. But without detailed federal guidance on how to distribute the tests, states and cities have remained divided, and some of them have been stifled, on how best to use these types of rapid tests and others for the testing technique known as “screening.” “- which involves regularly testing people for whether or not they have symptoms.

Announcing the deployment plan Monday afternoon in the White House’s Rose Garden, Trump said the testing effort “would allow every state to regularly test every teacher who needs it.”


“I am pleased to announce that we are announcing our plan to distribute 150 million Abbott test points of care in the coming weeks,” Trump said Monday at the Rose Garden.

Of course, many schools across the country have already been open for weeks without full access to testing, despite the Trump administration’s continued push to reopen schools and businesses despite the ongoing pandemic.

And the plan marks a pivotal point for the Trump administration and the president, who repeatedly and inaccurately claimed that more coronavirus tests in the United States would lead to more coronavirus cases.
At one point in the pandemic, Trump said he told his staff to slow coronavirus testing, but top federal health officials said he was not asked to do so.

Trump appeared to be taking a different approach to testing in the Rose Garden on Monday, saying that an increase in coronavirus testing efforts and, therefore, an increase in expected asymptomatic coronavirus cases among those in low-risk populations “should not cause undue alarm.” .

“As we massively increase testing capacity, we will identify more cases in asymptomatic individuals in low-risk populations. This should not cause undue alarm,” Trump said. “The total number of cases is not the complete metric of success. Hospital capacity and mortality rates are much more informative metrics. As we do more tests, you will automatically have more cases.”

About 100 million tests, the president said, “will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately and (as) quickly as possible.”

And 50 million tests will go “to protect the most vulnerable communities,” including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice services, historically black colleges, and tribal nation colleges.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, said the federal deployment plan will grant governors flexibility on how to implement the tests, but offered some prioritization guidelines, which included the ‘implementation of coronavirus screening.

“Governors have the flexibility to use these tests as they see fit, but we strongly encourage governors to use them in settings that only need low-tech rapid point-of-care testing, such as opening and keeping our K-12 schools open, supporting critical infrastructure and first responders, responding to outbreaks particularly in certain demographics or locations, and screening or surveillance in congregated settings, ”Giroir said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in coronavirus guidelines in August that some people without symptoms may not need to be tested, even if they have been in close contact with someone known to have the virus. The guide was canceled earlier this month to stress once again that anyone who has been in contact with an infected person should be tested for the coronavirus.

Ali Zaslav, Betsy Klein, Curt Devine, and CNN’s Drew Griffin contributed to this report.

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