President Donald Trump declared a national public emergency on Friday afternoon as cases of COVID-19 continue to spread throughout the United States.
One of the greatest threats perpetuating the spread of the virus is a lack of available testing kits to accurately diagnose the number of cases and assess the threat.
This is partly due to a bungled testing kit rollout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month, as well as reports that Trump wanted fewer tests available to the public in hopes that fewer reported diagnoses would reduce the chance of panicked markets that could threaten his reelection chances.
After a Friday press conference in which Trump assured that tests would soon be available and that the United States would get past the crisis, the Republican National Committee delivered a poorly-worded tweet.
“When America is tested, America rises to the occasion.” -@realDonaldTrump— GOP (@GOP) 1584130681.0
It seemed lost upon the GOP that one of the reasons the pandemic remains a threat is because people don't have access to tests.
But don't worry, denizens of the internet pointed that out to them.
We are quite literally not being tested https://t.co/SHtSInW0wv— JP (@JP) 1584131840.0
CAN'T GET TESTED IF THERE AREN'T ANY TESTS https://t.co/phwsc2rLwi— Benjamin Dreyer (@Benjamin Dreyer) 1584131359.0
Pretty sure the whole problem is that America isn't getting tested. https://t.co/CpG00IG5VI— Some More News (@Some More News) 1584133911.0
Irony is dead https://t.co/81Rd335GF8— Henry White (@Henry White) 1584133338.0
🤦🏽Probably not the best quote to go with since most Americans can't be tested. #CoronaVirusUpdate https://t.co/71XCeMeKCx— Chet Powell (@Chet Powell) 1584133566.0
Journalist Dan Diamond told NPR of his talks with sources close to the Trump administration:
"My understanding is [Trump] did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that's partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear - the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall."
Despite the Trump administration's assurances, more and more people are coming forward to say that they haven't been able to get tested, despite showing symptoms and being exposed to the coronavirus.
Quite a moment on MSNBC. Dr. Natalie Azar (@DrNatalieTV) says "I just tried to get a patient tested an hour ago, an… https://t.co/P3nB1lz3DQ— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter) 1584033558.0
ER doc described 2 recent patients in enough respiratory distress to be admitted to the hospital, tested negative f… https://t.co/eICpt5Hlwt— emma brown (@emma brown) 1584054699.0
I got back from Paris on Monday night and I wasn’t tested/screened/asked a single question about my travel upon re-… https://t.co/w9r3wx2gMK— Claire Landsbaum (@Claire Landsbaum) 1584031504.0
At the press conference today, Trump said he "doesn't take responsibility at all" for a lack of tests, because according to him, the White House was conforming with outdated regulations, possibly alluding to his false claim that former President Barack Obama's policies hindered testing for public health crises.
Stay safe, everyone.