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President Donald Trump boasts about US testing capabilities

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Posted at 5:32 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 17:32:02-04

Standing in front of a banner, declaring the US as the leader in coronavirus tests, President Donald Trump claimed on Monday that anyone who wants a coronavirus test in the US can get one.

But the White House is pushing back on calls to ramp up testing even more as some researchers suggest that the nation needs to ramp up testing to prevent further outbreaks being spread in workplaces, which has taken place in a number of meat production plants in nusing homes throughout the US.

The Trump administration says it hopes to be able to increase current testing capabilities above 300,000 per day by the end of the week, which means about .1 percent of the US population would have access to tests on a per day basis. While the White House is pushing to get the country reopen, experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, peg that the number of tests necessary to reopen the economy is much higher.

Admiral Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary, said that there is enough testing to conduct Phase 1 of reopening the US. But adds not everyone who is going to work needs to be tested, and that those with symptoms have access to tests.

“If you were symptomatic, self-isolate, get tested -- community based testing sites, at hospitals, at home testing that has been authorized -- and to cooperate,” Giroir said. “If you need to be context traced, cooperate with your local public health. Not everybody who walks in get tested every time they do. If you are symptomatic here at HHS, and a meatpacking plant, at a school, you need to get tested.

Reiterating that anyone who wants tested could get tested, Trump added, “They shouldn’t want testing.”

Meanwhile, the White House is frequently testing those who come in contact with the president. Trump also told members of the media on Monday that he is asking those in the White House to wear masks around him.

But when asked when testing capabilities for the general public will match test testing efforts within the White House, Trump said “I can’t win.”

Although estimates differ on exactly how many coronavirus tests are needed for the economy to reopen, some experts place that number in the millions per day. Fauci, however, has said that number is closer to 500,000 per day, which is still well above current US testing capabilities.