Trump Doubles Down On Coronavirus Testing Capabilities
President Trump said Monday that adequate coronavirus testing existed but was being underutilized by governors, following a chorus of complaints by state leaders and health care experts regarding the country's insufficient testing capacity.
The White House last week issued guidelines on a three-tiered approach for states to begin easing coronavirus restrictions. But many state officials have said that they do not yet have the capacity to aggressively test for new COVID-19 cases.
Trump has been resistant to states' demands for additional testing help. During the Monday daily coronavirus task force briefing, Trump said that public-private partnerships had significantly expanded the nation's testing capabilities, "but some states need to take action to fully utilize it."
The Monday coronavirus task force briefing comes after a series of tense disagreements between Trump and a number of Democratic governors last week.
Almost immediately after the administration's three-phase plan to ease coronavirus restrictions was released, several governors openly disputed the president's projected timeline on their ability to safely begin lifting stay-at-home orders.
On Friday, Trump engaged in a heated back-and-forth with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the week was capped off with Trump later that day openly expressing support for far-right protesters disobeying state-issued stay-at-home orders.
The administration hopes that this week will bring some bipartisan agreement on additional coronavirus relief funding, possibly including: $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion in emergency funding for hospitals, $50 billion for small-business disaster loans and $25 billion for testing.
This article originally appeared on NPR.org.