President Donald Trump's administration bungled yet another opportunity to contain COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that's currently spreading around the United States and other parts of the world.
This latest misstep comes with the news that the administration will fail to meet a key promise it made in regards to the availability of crucial testing kits.
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that it would produce one million new testing kits by the end of the week. The promise came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rolled out hundreds of diagnostic tests which produced inconclusive results. Vice President Mike Pence pledged this number as recently as Wednesday.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed, however, that the real figure would be less than a tenth of the million promised coming from the government.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar says he expects enough coronavirus tests for 75,000 people to be shipped by the end of the… https://t.co/hpQAhXzcoX— CBS News (@CBS News)1583423849.0
"By the end of the week we believe we'll have shipped enough for 75,000 people to be tested."
A lack of availability in tests could present a severe undercount in diagnoses of the virus, making its containment even more insurmountable.
People took the failure to meet a million as yet another example of the Trump administration's mixed messages.
The President is failing to manage the worst public health crisis of his administration as he campaigns on eliminat… https://t.co/CjPX4eL7Er— Jon Favreau (@Jon Favreau)1583424585.0
Now we get to guess whether it's suppression of vital public safety information or just incompetence. Fun, right? https://t.co/a8qiSwPpig— Devin Nunes' Alt-Mom (@Devin Nunes' Alt-Mom)1583427195.0
The Trump Administrstion is negligent and responsible for the tragic response and severe lack of preparation while… https://t.co/uwmWotrweG— Not Bill Murray (@Not Bill Murray)1583421706.0
Incompetence abounds with this bunch. How many will die due to their willful negligence? https://t.co/45UTPg2sk2— Eric Slater (@Eric Slater)1583421284.0
Others said this promise was doomed to failure, and weren't shocked by the news.
The bad news is we wont have the tests. The good news is no one believed them to begin with. https://t.co/okLZY0A9nK— James Malloy (@James Malloy)1583421877.0
Is it "BREAKING" when a thing that literally no one thought was going to happen doesn't happen? https://t.co/8xdxeVjKYg— Jeff Mac (@Jeff Mac)1583421372.0
No surprise. Our pandemic response infrastructure was stripped to the bone and has to be rebuilt. You can't just th… https://t.co/YSjXrkFzax— Alex Wild (@Alex Wild)1583420945.0
This was never going to happen given the logistical challenges and that was clear yesterday. https://t.co/SnlvkeKFIm— Chris Hayes (@Chris Hayes)1583434616.0
The CDC confirmed today that there are now at least 129 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States.