In Latest Briefing, Trump Still Can’t Tell Us Where The Tests Are

Tonight, Trump continued to downplay the testing shortage and passed the buck to states, whom he had failed to provide with adequate testing capacity.

Trump once again claimed that everything is great on testing and that it’s expanding rapidly, despite the fact that he still has no national testing strategy and the testing rate has plateaued.

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “As Trump vaguely proclaims everything great on testing, the fact is that there are widespread shortages and other impediments, as confirmed by politicians of both parties, and that the US is nowhere near the level most experts say is needed for a safe lifting of restrictions.”

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump says 4.18 million people have been tested. He claims, again, that testing is expanding ‘rapidly’ and ‘by millions and millions of people.’ (We’ve heard this stuff a lot from the Trump team and it keeps not happening.)”

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump brushes off a question about governors’ calls for a national testing strategy, saying they also said such things about ventilators, now we’re in great shape with ventilators, and, also, we’re in great shape with testing. (Again, there are major problems re testing.)”

Axios: “The number of coronavirus diagnostic tests being completed every day has plateaued over the last week — at a number that falls far short of what experts say is needed.”

Trump claimed that testing supplies are “so easy to get” while governors say they still need the federal government’s help with testing supply shortages.

NBC News’s Monica Alba: “President Trump says swabs and reagents are ‘so easy to get.’ That’s not been the experience of GOP Ohio Gov. DeWine who said on @MeetThePress: ‘I could probably double, maybe even triple testing in OH virtually overnight if the FDA would prioritize’ extraction for reagent kits.”

Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin: “Trump calls reagents and swabs used in covid-19 tests ‘so easy to get.’ Shortages of those two items continue to be one of the biggest impediments to expanding widespread testing in the United States.”

Trump continues to falsely claim that we’re doing the best job on testing while states and business leaders say we still need more testing capacity.

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor: “President Trump again says U.S. is doing the best job with testing. Context: It remains unclear but unlikely that U.S. is testing more per capita than some other countries like South Korea. State and private sector leaders also continue to say more testing capability is needed.”

Los Angeles Times’s Eli Stokols: “Trump just listed several countries the US is ahead of in total tests and is focusing on having done more than any other country. That frame is intended to obscure this less favorable metric:”

University College London’s Brian Klass: “Covid-19 tests as a proportion of the population, selected country rankings:

1. Iceland: 12%

10. Norway: 2.5%

18. Italy: 2.2%

20. Germany: 2.1%

21. Spain: 2.0%

31. Australia: 1.6%

34. Canada: 1.4%

37. Russia: 1.3%

38. USA: 1.1%

52. France: 0.7%

55. UK: 0.7%

Source: Worldometer”

Washington Post: “With the number of the covid-19 tests hovering at an average of 146,000 a day, businesses leaders and state officials are warning the Trump administration that they cannot safely reopen the economy without radically increasing the number of available tests — perhaps into the millions a day — and that won’t happen without a greater coordinating role by the federal government.”

Trump falsely claimed he acted early by restricting travel from China when it was too little too late and he continued to downplay the virus throughout February.

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor: “@weijia: Why didn’t you warn people earlier about the virus instead holding rallies in February? Trump again talks about travel restrictions he put in place for some coming from China but doesn’t answer Q. He tells her: ‘You should say thank you very much for good judgement.’”

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump says he closed up the entire country and ‘You should say, ‘Thank you very much for good judgment.’ He did not ‘close up the entire country’; he was slow to take other critical steps; to @weijia’s point, he also continued to downplay the virus more than a month after that.”

Trump continued to make the briefing about himself, instead of focusing on providing critical coronavirus updates to the American people.

CNN’s Daniel Dale: “The president is musing about stuff. Very Rally.”

Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey: “‘Nothing’s about me,’ Trump says, after telling reporters to congratulate him for his judgment and citing praise of him.”

The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston: “Trump, during campaign rally in White House briefing room, plays video of Cuomo that talks about cooperation among governments, then complains his team ‘left out the best part.’ That is, more praise for him. I’d say that this is surreal, but it’s more expected at this point.”

MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin: “The president, during a briefing that is supposed to be about the coronavirus pandemic, is discussing the praise he has received and playing a video clip of some of the praise.”

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor: “Pres Trump likes holding White House briefings as a way to both update Americans about the virus & tout his accomplishments as he would during a campaign rally. Today, he spent some 40 mins making rally style statements talking about praise he’s received & lashing out at Dems.”