One of the biggest failures of President Donald Trump's response to the national health crisis that's killed thousands of Americans has to do with testing.
Trump often touts that the United States has performed more tests for the virus than anyone in the world. While that's true, it's irrelevant because there hasn't been enough testing per-capita to get an accurate evaluation of the virus's prevalence in the United States.
A lot of this is because of the administration's failure to facilitate a national testing apparatus, leaving governors to fend for themselves on behalf of their state. As a result, states have broken out into bidding wars with each other and the federal government in an effort to secure tests.
The President says that acknowledging the testing shortage is nothing more than a media effort to take him down, but recent measures taken by Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan indicate just how chaotic the struggle to obtain an adequate number of tests has become without federal oversight.
In a live interview with the Washington Post, Hogan described the fear that the federal government would seize tests obtained by Maryland from South Korea—and the measures he took to stop that from happening.
Maryland @GovLarryHogan on whether he was concerned that the federal government would seize the tests the state pro… https://t.co/uHM9wkN2Z3— Washington Post Live (@Washington Post Live) 1588259707.0
"This was an enormously valuable payload. It was like Fort Knox to us, cause it was gonna save the lives of thousands of our citizens. There had been reports of, for example in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker told the story of his planeload …with masks was basically confiscated by the federal government."
Hogan discussed the security measures he took to ensure that the plane carrying the shipment of the tests wasn't seized, which included invoking the Maryland National Guard to protect the cargo once it landed.
The tests are now in an undisclosed location for the same reason.
People were disgusted that this was necessary.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says the tests he bought from South Korea are being guarded by the National Guard at a… https://t.co/uMeP4KhqHa— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈) 1588276980.0
This is unreal. And Hogan is even a Republican. In all the tabletops & pandemic plans & scenarios discussed in the… https://t.co/o6YXFFnAog— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@Dr. Tara C. Smith) 1588283295.0
Sweet Jesus, this is what it's come to. https://t.co/skWZpzNIU1— Amee Vanderpool (@Amee Vanderpool) 1588295102.0
Put another way: A U.S. state has now mobilized its own military units to prevent the use of force by the federal g… https://t.co/yqDm2esf0X— Brandon Friedman (@Brandon Friedman) 1588266677.0
As recently as Friday morning, Trump continues to deny that there's any problem with testing, but people aren't buying it.
The top infectious disease expert in Trump's own government, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said less than a week ago that coro… https://t.co/2dunAs8Cl8— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1588336767.0
NO! We do not have enough testing. No matter how many times you say you've done a great job, it doesn't make it tru… https://t.co/wgDDIBmFKI— Russell Foster (@Russell Foster) 1588335395.0
We haven't done enough testing and you know it @realDonaldTrump That's the truth and NOT "false talking points" https://t.co/7RxtjVCSYC— Manny Funes (@Manny Funes) 1588338023.0
For a deeper look into the ineptitude of Trump's administration, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.