Trump Remains Adamant on Closing COVID Testing Sites

The Trump administration continues to defend plans to close 13 federally run coronavirus testing sites within the month of July. These testing sites are located in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and Texas. With the closing of these sites, only 28 federally funded COVID-19 sites will remain in the U.S.

Federal officials say the sites have been closing or transferring to state or local control because it’s more efficient to run testing that way. In other instances they argue there are readily available testing sites nearby.

President Trump’s decision derives from his constant blame for the rise of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. In hopes to avoid conflict and gain reelection, the action of eliminating the number of testing sites has become his response. (This is despite evidence that the virus is spreading rapidly in many parts of the country and leading to increased hospitalizations.)

Trump’s comments in Tulsa

At a campaign event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump said that he had instructed officials to slow coronavirus testing across the country in order to give the appearance of a decline in the pandemic.

Critics at the state and federal levels say the shutdowns are a dangerous idea as infections are surging in many states and testing remains scarce in some places. Health officials are especially concerned about the repercussions of the closures in Texas, where seven of the sites are located, the infections are rising quickly.

Disagreements arise

“The pandemic is clearly getting worse in states nationwide—and instead of trying harder to stop it, President Trump is apparently trying harder to hide it,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee said in a statement on Wednesday, June 24.

On Sunday, she and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote to the administration urging it to disburse nearly $14 billion for testing and contact tracing provided by Congress.

“It’s completely unacceptable that while billions in federal dollars Congress passed to support testing sit unspent, this administration is closing testing sites in states where new COVID-19 cases are rapidly on the rise,” she added.

Since then, Murray has called on Trump to reverse the decision immediately. 

Tell us what you think

Do you think that America should slow down on COVID-19 testing? Should Trump reverse the decision to close federally run testing sites?  What will happen as a result? We would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. Join the conversation and leave us a comment. 

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