The Trump administration announced measures to ramp up COVID-19 testing nationwide on Monday, with $11 billion in federal funds and testing equipment headed to states as they gear up to reopen their economies.
President Donald Trump, in a news conference at the White House Rose Garden, said the “federal government would back up the states and help them build up their testing capacities.”
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Trump had said the states, municipalities and tribes would receive $1 billion to boost testing capability; Adm. Brett P. Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, clarified that the amount planned was $11 billion.
Trump said the funding boost had already been negotiated and said the partnership between his administration and states “has truly flourished.”
“Governors and us are working very close, not only on testing but on ventilators, where at this point we have capacity that’s virtually unlimited,” Trump said. He added that the U.S. was sending “many, many thousands” of ventilators to other nations in need.
Trump was adamant that if Americans want to be tested, they “will be tested.” He touted the 9 million tests performed in the United States, far more than any other country.
Giroir noted that states must have plans in place for vulnerable communities, including nursing homes, prisons and working environments where the virus is more likely to spread. He added that a “national network of state, local and community-based organizations” would “assure that those undeserved, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, are linked to the sources they need.”
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