One Month Ago, Trump Officials Promised 27 Million Tests By End of March. That’s 23 Million More Than Have Been Conducted to Date in the U.S.
COLUMBUS — On March 25, public health officials in Marion County, Ohio, expressed concerns that coronavirus was spreading undetected in their community because they didn’t have enough tests to monitor and control the outbreak.
Just days later — one month ago today — Trump administration officials promised there would be 27 million tests available by the end of March.
Today, only about 4 million tests have been conducted, and the Marion Correctional Institution is the top coronavirus infection hotspot in the nation.
“From Lordstown to health care to student debt, Donald Trump has broken one promise after another to the people of Ohio, and the latest example is his administration’s failure to deliver on their pledge to expand coronavirus testing,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Trump wasted months downplaying the coronavirus threat instead of ramping up our testing capacity, and now he’s falsely blaming governors for testing shortages. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine had to go on national television to beg the federal government for their help to expand testing access. And four weeks after Marion County’s public health experts called for more coronavirus tests — and the Trump administration promised a massive ramp-up — that community is the site of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the nation.
“Here in Ohio and across the nation we’re seeing the consequences of Trump’s failure to prepare. Our country leads the world in confirmed cases and deaths, supply shortages ravage our health care system, 22 million Americans have lost their jobs and tens of thousands of Americans have lost their lives. The coronavirus crisis is worse because of Trump.”
Ohio is one of the worst states in the nation for per capita daily testing, trailing only Kentucky and Arizona. Researchers estimate that Ohio must multiply its testing capacity more than seven-fold to open safely and relax social distancing restrictions.
DeWine today announced a bipartisan-led testing strike team with former Gov. Bob Taft and former Gov. Dick Celeste.
“Many governors — both Republicans and Democrats — are rolling up their sleeves and doing whatever they can to address the coronavirus crisis,” said Pepper. “DeWine is bringing two former governors out of retirement to work on the testing problem. Maryland’s Republican governor drew on his wife’s connections in her native South Korea to obtain half a million test kits from that country. Meanwhile Trump is blaming everyone but himself and his lackeys in the administration for their broken promises on coronavirus testing.”
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