President Donald Trump on Wednesday provided a brief update on critical health supplies amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and said that the country is now conducting more testing than any other in the world.
At a daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Trump said that the federal government is in the process of shipping some 9.4 million N95 respirators, 20 million surgical masks, 3.1 million face shields, 2.6 million surgical gowns, 14.6 million gloves, and almost 6,000 ventilators “to the areas of greatest need.”
“We sent over the last day 4,000 ventilators to New York,” he added.
The president has approved major disaster declarations for New York, California, Washington, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. The disaster declarations will allow federal funding to start flowing to state and some local governments, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations.
Trump also said that the United States is “doing more testing than anybody by far,” adding that he had recently spoken with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“Theyve done a very good job at testing,” Trump said. “But we now are doing more testing than anybody by far. We do more in eight days than they do in eight weeks. And we go up on a daily basis exponentially.”
On Tuesday, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that the United States had conducted more testing in the last eight days than South Korea had in eight weeks. At the time, she said the United States was doing about 50,000 to 70,000 tests a day.
“The news, the reporters, the media always like to bring South Korea,” the president said on Thursday. “They [South Korea] called me, they told me its amazing, your testing procedures are amazing. Plus we have a test thats a very high-level test and its a test thats very accurate.”
Ridiculous to Test Entire Population: Trump
One reporter asked the president about the possibility of testing all Americans and quarantining of those who need to be isolated, while allowing the rest to return to work.
“We have some big problems but confined to certain high-density areas,” Trump said. “Why would we test the entire nation of 350 million people?”
He noted that a lot of states with lower infection numbers “could go back [to work] right now, and they probably will because, at some point in the not too distant future, certain states are going to come off the rolls.”
“Maybe New York cant and maybe California cant. Maybe the state of Washington cant, although if you look at them, their biggest problem was in one nursing home,” he added.
“We have the ability to test, we have come a long way from an obsolete, broken system I inherited. We have tested with the best test, far more than anybody else. When I say anybody else, other countries, no country is even close,” he said.
But he added, “I dont want to test 350 million people. I think its ridiculous.”
Self-Swab Tests On The Way
White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx announced on Monday that self-swab COVID-19 tests will be available soon.
The tests will allow people to collect their own sampleRead More – Source