Just days after Donald Trump admitted that he told his staff to slow down coronavirus testing to keep infection numbers down, the administration is planning to end federal support for local virus screening – even in places that need it most.
According to The Houston Chronicle, “The Trump administration is planning to end federal support for local coronavirus testing sites across the nation at the end of the month — including seven in Texas, where confirmed cases of COVID are spiking.”
The report adds:
Houston officials are urging the White House to rethink the move, warning of ‘catastrophic cascading consequences’ of pulling federal support for testing sites, four of which are in Houston and Harris County and administer thousands of tests per day. City officials consider two of those sites — the largest in the city, administering up to 500 tests each per day — the backbone of Houston’s testing efforts.
Bipartisan backlash to the move
The fact that Trump is planning to end this crucial testing support at a time when new coronavirus hot spots are emerging has drawn bipartisan backlash.
Even Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress, is urging the administration to shift course.
— Ben Wermund (@BenjaminEW) June 23, 2020
It’s worth noting that, according to Ben Wermund of the Houston Chronicle, the Trump administration had already changed course on this issue once back in April, when they decided to extend federal support for local testing sites until the end of June.
But with the Trump administration essentially walking away from the virus and focusing full-time on boosting the president’s ego and reelection numbers, it’s unclear if the White House will extend the support again.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.