Trump Says He Hasn't 'Heard of Testing Being a Problem' After Montana Governor Pleads With Him for More Testing Kits
Weeks after a bungled testing kit rollout from President Donald Trump's CDC, governors in rural areas are still having trouble obtaining an adequate number of testing kits to properly determine just how quickly the virus is spreading throughout their communities.
According to a leaked phone call between Trump, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a group of rural state governors, the President once again expressed skepticism that governors were on the brink of a life-threatening shortage.
Trump's response to the rural governors asking for help left a lot to be desired.
CBS News obtained audio of a call Monday between Pres. Trump and rural state governors about coronavirus. After Mon… https://t.co/KaBn1PoVuW— CBS News (@CBS News)1585609280.0
In the clip, Montana Governor Steve Bullock stresses the need for testing kits in order to facilitate contact tracing, or tracing the spread of the virus as far back as possible in order to identify and diagnose possible cases.
Bullock stressed that his administration had tried to obtain more tests through private companies, but that the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) would need to step in if Montana was to have adequate testing.
Bullock told Trump and Fauci:
"Literally we are one day away, if we don't get test kits from the CDC, that we wouldn't be able to do testing in Montana."
Trump shrugged off Bullock's concerns, echoing a misleading claim about testing in the United States:
"Tony, you can answer if you want, but I haven't heard about testing in weeks. We've tested more now than any nation in the world. We've got these great tests, and we'll come out with another one tomorrow that's, you know, almost instantaneous testing. But I haven't heard about testing being a problem."
Trump appeared to dismiss Bullock's requests for the CDC to expedite testing kits to Montana, assuring him with the number of people who've been tested in the United States. He didn't say anything about just how or how soon the tests would get to Montana.
This is a continuation of Trump's insistence that states take their own measures to obtain medical equipment, relying on the federal government only as a backup. This preference of Trump's has resulted in budding bidding wars emerging between the states.
Trump previously slammed certain governors for not being "appreciative" enough of him and his administration, even admitting at a Friday press briefing that he told Vice President Mike Pence not to reach out to the governors he deemed disloyal.
Trump's press briefings on the virus have given enough cause for concern, but the call with governors further indicated that Trump response to this virus hasn't been productive.
Just astonishing. Trump is now lying directly to our Gov, and by extension, to us Montanans. Gov Bullock *specific… https://t.co/oHO9RUAxdl— Tom Winter (@Tom Winter)1585619241.0
“Trump’s failed management of this crisis was on full display in newly obtained audio footage in which the presiden… https://t.co/iXMMFwIlLE— Sarah Reese Jones (@Sarah Reese Jones)1585623147.0
Trump incompetence is literally killing people now. Literally. https://t.co/h6gxbO3D3Y— Mark Turner (@Mark Turner)1585666739.0
Trump and the lying liars who lie https://t.co/zNtCAqnhPi— Ben Wash your God Damn Hands Pales (@Ben Wash your God Damn Hands Pales)1585666237.0
People were concerned at Trump's claims that he hadn't heard about testing...because it's definitely been discussed.
There is no state where testing is at scale to allow any understanding of contagion and risk. To understand lethal… https://t.co/oBTVAkF1b5— Mary E Losch (@Mary E Losch)1585666420.0
@AaronBlake @jaketapper Lying or not listening. Either could be true. Both could be true.— Mike Richardson (@Mike Richardson)1585666228.0
Come on @realDonaldTrump, this crisis has gone on for months. The only way we get out of this crisis is testing, te… https://t.co/fsWvs6hnFk— Committee to Protect Medicare (@Committee to Protect Medicare)1585617819.0