White House unveils COVID-19 testing blueprint

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The White House is again pushing back on criticism that coronavirus testing has been too slow by releasing a list of testing guidelines for states to follow.

The White House said its new testing blueprint will give states a safe path towards re-opening their economies.

“We are going to make sure they have the supplies and the capability to test at least two percent of their population every month,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Giroir said that 2 percent goal will surpass the level of testing anywhere in the world, including South Korea, a country widely praised for its successful testing program.

Giroir promises the states won’t be left to fend for themselves.

“The federal government is assuring that they have the supply chains, that the supplies are matched with what they need to do to test,” he said.

Giroir said states already have what they need.

“It really is remarkable how we’ve gone from a few tens of thousands of tests a little over a month ago, to well over five and a half million today,” he said.

But Chelsea Boyd,  an epidemiologist and research fellow at the non-partisan R Street Institute, said there’s still much work to be done.

“We are still low in our testing capacity compared to where we should be,” Boyd said. “A lot of the governors, when they speak, they’re talking about how they’re having a hard time procuring tests.”

Giroir said the blueprint’s state-by-state approach will allow the federal government to successfully ship testing resources to where they’re needed.

“I have every confidence, working together in the kind of partnership we envision, that the states will be able to obtain their goals,” he said.

Giroir says the White House plans to re-evaluate the blueprint after May and June.

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