Trump announced the distribution plan in the White House Rose Garden Monday afternoon, claiming the testing effort would “allow any state to regularly test any teacher who needs it”.
“I am pleased to announce that we are announcing our plan to distribute 1
Of course, many schools across the country have been open for weeks without full trial access, despite the Trump administration’s continued attempts to reopen schools and businesses despite the ongoing pandemic.
Trump appeared to be taking a different approach to rose garden testing Monday, saying an increase in coronavirus testing efforts, and therefore an increase in expected cases of asymptomatic coronavirus in low-risk patients, “shouldn’t create an undue alarm”.
“If we massively increase the testing capacity, we will identify more cases in asymptomatic individuals in low-risk populations. This should not set off an inappropriate alarm,” Trump said. “The total number of cases is not a complete success metric. Hospitalization capacity and death rate are far more telling. As we run more tests, you will automatically have more cases.”
About 100 million tests, the president said, “will be given to states and territories to aid efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately and (as) quickly as possible.”
And 50 million tests are being conducted “to protect the most vulnerable communities,” including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice care, historically black colleges, and tribal nation colleges.
Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus test tsar, said the federal distribution plan would allow governors flexibility in delivering the tests, but offered some guidelines for prioritization, including implementing coronavirus screening.
“Governors have the flexibility to use these tests at their discretion. However, we strongly encourage Governors to use them in environments that require only rapid, low-tech point-of-care testing, such as this Open and keep our K-12 schools open, support critical infrastructure and first responders, respond to outbreaks specifically in specific populations or locations, and review or monitor in congregation environments, “Giroir said.
CNN’s Ali Zaslav, Betsy Klein, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin contributed to this report.