Government/Health/Media

Trump pushes back against reporter’s claim he is responsible for dearth of coronavirus testing

President Donald j. Trump and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar meet with reporters Thursday, March 12, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

(USA Features) President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that he take responsibility for a shortage of tests for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Following the president’s announcement of a national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was asked by a reporter if he should take responsibility for a lack of testing capabilities and whether he could guarantee that anyone who needed testing would be given one.

“No, I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event,” Trump said during a Rose Garden speech.




The president added that the system of responding to an outbreak was not set up for “the kind of numbers that we’re talking about.” He noted further that the response system was “redesigned” very fast with the help of the coronavirus task force headed by Vice President Mike Pence.

“And we’re now in very, very strong shape,” he said, noting that there will be the ability to test millions in a “very quick period of time.”

“We are going to be leaving a very indelible print for the future in case something like this happens again,” he continued. “And, frankly, the old system worked very well for smaller numbers, much smaller numbers, but not for these kinds of numbers.”

Tests for coronavirus on the state level must be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for verification. It’s not clear whether the CDC is currently equipped to handle a wave of tests sent by states to their labs in Atlanta.


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