Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Pressed on Surging Covid-19 Cases and Test Shortages, Trump Says U.S. Is 'Envy of the World'

Popular
Pressed on Surging Covid-19 Cases and Test Shortages, Trump Says U.S. Is 'Envy of the World'
Two medical workers wearing PPE are seen changing their gloves at a free coronavirus testing location outside Washington Square Parkas the city soon moves into Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on July 18 in New York City.. Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump claimed in a newly aired Fox News interview Sunday that the United States is the "envy of the world" when it comes to Covid-19 testing capacity, a boast that came as state and local leaders continue to raise alarm about widespread test shortages and delays as coronavirus infections surge nationwide.


Pressed by Fox News' Chris Wallace on rising Covid-19 infections, shortages of testing kits and personal protective equipment for frontline workers, and rapidly dwindling hospital capacity, Trump — who is attempting to block billions of dollars in new funds for testing and contact tracing — said he takes responsibility for how the U.S. has handled the pandemic but added that "some governors have done poorly."

"They're supposed to have supplies ... I supplied everybody," the president said. "Now we have somewhat of a surge in certain areas. In other areas we're doing great. But we have a surge in certain areas. But you don't hear people complaining about ventilators, we've got all the ventilators we could use, we're supplying them to other countries."

"We have more tests by far than any country in the world," Trump said. When Wallace pointed out that the Covid-19 positivity rate is rising sharply even as more tests are conducted, Trump said dismissively: "Many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day. They have the sniffles and we put it down as a test."

"Cases are up because we have the best testing in the world," Trump said, once again falsely blaming the increase in testing for the growing number of positive coronavirus cases in the U.S., which now leads the world in confirmed infections. "No country has ever done what we've done in terms of testing. We are the envy of the world."

Watch:

As the Associated Press reported Saturday, Trump's portrayal of the U.S. coronavirus testing system as the "best in the world" is undermined by the realities numerous states are facing as Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations spike:

Here are some snapshots from what President Donald Trump describes as the nation with the "best testing in the world" for the coronavirus:
In Sun Belt states where the virus is surging, lines of cars with people seeking tests snake for hours in the beating sun, often yielding results so far after the fact that they're useless.
In Pittsburgh, adults who are afraid they've been exposed to the coronavirus are being asked to skip testing if they can quarantine at home for 14 days to help reduce delays and backlogs.
In Hawaii, the governor will wait another month to lift a two-week quarantine on visitors because of test supply shortages and delays that potential visitors are facing in getting results.

Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told AP that "it's essentially worthless to have a test result that comes back after 48 hours."

"We are nowhere near being able to rein in this virus with the amount of testing we have available at the moment," said Wen. "Testing is the linchpin."

Blair Holladay, CEO of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, told USA Today on Saturday that because the Trump administration has failed to implement a national testing strategy, "states are duking it out for supply chains."

"It's the Wild, Wild West," said Holladay.

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, Colorado's Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said "the national testing scene is a complete disgrace."

"Every test we send out to private lab partners nationally, Quest, Labcorp, seven days, eight days, nine days — maybe six days if we're lucky," Polis said of the amount of time it typically takes to get test results back. "Almost useless from an epidemiological or even diagnostic perspective."

"Fortunately, our state lab has done yeoman's work," Polis continued. "We're running three shifts a day there, 24 hours a day. So while some are still sent out of state, and unfortunately that takes a long time and we can't count on it and our country needs to get testing right, we're trying to build that capacity in Colorado."

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

Presidential nominee Joe Biden has not taken a stance on gas exports, including liquefied natural gas. Ken Hodge / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Simon Montlake

For more than a decade, Susan Jane Brown has been battling to stop a natural gas pipeline and export terminal from being built in the backcountry of Oregon. As an attorney at the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center, she has repeatedly argued that the project's environmental, social, and health costs are too high.

All that was before this month's deadly wildfires in Oregon shrouded the skies above her home office in Portland. "It puts a fine point on it. These fossil fuel projects are contributing to global climate change," she says.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less
A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch