Trump says widespread coronavirus testing to begin ‘soon’ as administration cuts red tape

(USA Features) President Donald Trump said Friday that thanks to reductions in regulatory burdens widespread testing of Americans for COVID-19 are set to begin “soon.”

“The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!” he wrote in a tweet Friday morning.

The president also criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lead organization in the health fight against the virus, for having a testing system in place he said would “always be inadequate and slow for a large pandemic.”

It wasn’t clear what system the president was referring to, but his comment likely reflected his frustration with a slow roll-out of testing that has led to criticism of him and the administration.

That said, on Thursday, the top U.S. official on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said people cannot get tests easily and the U.S. testing system “is not really geared to what we need right now.”

“The CDC, when they made their test, it was more for a public health type of response, where they give this test to the state and local public health groups, so when a person comes into an office or the doctor, they order a test,” Fauci told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”

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While there will be a “major escalation” of getting tests out to people who want them, the CDC’s system of testing is still not working for the current epidemic situation, he added.

However, he said he believes people are putting “too much emphasis on testing.”

“It definitely would be much better to have a lot more tests out there,” he said. “What we need to do is respond right now…(testing) should not prevent us from doing the things that would prevent from you getting infected.”

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