President Donald Trump on Monday announced a strategy to expand coronavirus testing facilities in the United States, which the White House described as a decisive step to ensure States have the testing system required to reopen the nation.
The Trump Administration released its blueprint for State testing plans and rapid response programs as a follow up of the “Opening Up America Again” guidelines that Trump released on April 16.
It was developed with the support of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
To meet the country’s testing needs, the blueprint describes a partnership between Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector.
At a routine White House news conference on Monday, Trump said, “We are continuing to rapidly expand our capacity and confident that we have enough testing to begin reopening”.
“Today we’re releasing additional guidance on testing to inform the states as they develop their plans for a phased and very safe reopening. Our blueprint describes how states should unlock their full capacity, expand the number of testing platforms, establish monitoring systems to detect local outbreaks, and conduct contact tracing,” he added.
At the briefing, major retailers including Walmart Inc. and CVS Health Corp. announced that they would open hundreds of new sites to provide tests to diagnose coronavirus infection.
Many companies announced that they will be expanding their testing capabilities to more states.
Earlier, Trump chaired a meeting of the top executives of the nation’s largest retailers, including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Kroger. They were joined by leaders of top medical diagnostics companies and suppliers such as Thermo Fisher, LabCorp, Quest, U.S. Cotton, and the American Clinical Laboratory Association.
Trump announced that testing for Americans is accelerating at retail locations across the country. “There are currently 73 retail sites in 25 states, and we’re increasing it very substantially”.
Trump claimed that the U.S. Government launched the most ambitious testing effort on Earth. “The United States has now conducted more than 5.4 million tests — nearly double the number tested in any other country”.
He told reporters that an average of more than 200,000 tests was conducted per day since last Wednesday. This includes a 122 percent testing increase in Michigan and 124 percent increase in Maryland.
A fact sheet issued by the White House says that the Trump Administration is testing more Americans per capita than most other major countries.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued 70 emergency authorizations for new tests, including 8 for serological tests.
Federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have surged millions of new tests and supplies to hospitals, the Indian Health Service, and other testing locations across the Nation.
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