Government/Health/US National

Trump admin preparing ‘millions’ of COVID tests as way to get country reopened sooner

Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Admiral Brett Giroir, lead coordinator for Coronavirus testing, joins President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and members of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce as he addresses his remarks at a coronavirus update briefing Monday, March 16, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

(USA Features) The Trump administration announced it is manufacturing “millions” of COVID-19 tests as a means of being able to reopen large swaths of the country later this month or in early May.

“If things work out the way we believe they will, we will have millions on the market by May in a sophisticated way, in a prospective way that we get the surveillance we need,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services said Monday.

“We can test people to see if they’ve been exposed, are immune, and can go back to work.”

Giroir, along with other health experts and political leaders, said massive testing would be a way to ease concerns among local and state elected leaders as well as Americans regarding the spread of the disease.

Giroir also said that the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Health are working together to validate the tests and distribute them widely across the U.S.

He further noted that some 3.5 million coronavirus tests manufactured by China and sent to the UK were faulty.

“This allows for surveillance screening…to understand if 1%, 5%, 20% of Americans have been infected, but it also allows us to have very widespread tens and tens of millions of people screened with a finger prick on the spot,” said Giroir.

“I’m very excited about it,” he added.

Other health officials have argued that widespread testing of antibodies is practically the only way to reopen parts of the country and get Americans back to work again after more than 10 million have been furloughed in less than two weeks due to mandatory business closures to stop the virus’ spread.

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