Trump To Invoke War Powers To Boost Nasal Swab Production Levels By 20 Million A Month
President Donald Trump's delayed action after weeks of reported shortages drew questions about why he didn't act sooner. But Trump defended the decision, saying states have enough resources already. Meanwhile, state and lab officials say testing disarray and shortages are prolonging the national crisis.
The Washington Post:
Trump Says Government Will Step Up Coronavirus Testing Efforts, After Governors Blast Federal Inaction
President Trump said on Sunday that the federal government is stepping up efforts to obtain vital supplies for coronavirus testing, hours after several governors from both parties faulted his administration for not doing enough to help states. Public health experts say testing on a larger scale is a crucial step before resuming normal social and economic activity in the country. But Trump defended the administration’s approach of leaving testing largely to states. (Harris, Sonmez and DeBonis, 4/19)
Trump Invokes DPA For Testing Swabs, Weeks After Reported Shortages
Asked why his administration waited for weeks to use the Defense Production Act on swabs, Trump alternately claimed that states have "millions coming in” already, that states can procure them on their own, and that governors “don't know quite where they are” and need the federal government’s help. (Ollstein, 4/19)
Trump Says Defense Production Act Will Be Invoked To Make Swabs For Testing
Mr. Trump invoked the Defense Production Act in March to require GM to produce ventilators. Mr. Trump on Sunday said the U.S. is the "king of ventilators" and now the focus will be on testing. Mr. Trump displayed a swab used in testing and said, thanks to the Defense Production Act, the U.S. will be getting swabs "very easily." (4/19)
Pence Presses Governors To Ramp Up Testing. They Push Back.
Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday said he believed it was possible to double coronavirus testing capacity with assistance from the nation's governors — who continue to claim they don't have what they need to do so. On “Fox News Sunday,“ Pence said the administration expects that 150,000 tests per day can be increased to 300,000 per day. To get there, he said, it would entail "working with governors to activate all of the laboratories in their states around the country that can do coronavirus testing." (Warmbrodt, 4/19)
The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Testing Hampered By Disarray, Shortages, Backlogs
As President Trump and many of his advisers focus more attention on the nation’s economic reopening, lower ranking officials are trying to sort out the testing puzzle and individual labs are vying for supplies in a fractured and exhausted marketplace. “It is a little bit insane. Everyone is running around trying to get as much as they can from every vendor,” said David Grenache, the lab director at TriCore Reference Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. “Laboratories are competing with each other to get needed resources,” he said, and often coming up short. The private sector hasn’t so far been able to deliver nearly enough tests to meet the huge demand in the U.S., more than six weeks after the Food and Drug Administration allowed private companies to manufacture test kits and put them to use without having to be approved. (Weaver and Ballhaus, 4/19)
Abbott Ramping Up Test Manufacturing To Help Reopen The U.S.
Abbott Laboratories wants to ramp up production to at least 5 million tests in April, including COVID-19 diagnostic and serology tests, the company said on a first quarter earnings call on Thursday. The company committed to manufacturing 50,000 rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests per day beginning in April, and according to President and CEO Robert Ford, the company has at least met that goal every day so far and has beaten the number several days. He added that Abbott aims aiming to manufacture 2 million of the tests by June. (Ketchum, 4/17)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Coronavirus Symptoms, But No Test: Wisconsin Patients Frustrated
As is the case with Hall, emotions have been running high throughout the COVID-19 crisis for many people experiencing symptoms and trying to navigate the health care system. Fraught with confusion about who gets tested and where, and who gets treated and when, the rapidly changing policies and protocols — and lack of consistency across hospitals — are leaving some of the state's patients feeling neglected and helpless. (Shelbourne and Rutledge, 4/18)
Detroit Free Press:
A Family Ravaged By Coronavirus Struggled To Get Tests, Hospital Care
The man who raised Keith Gambrell, who loved him like a son and married his mother, died in a blue recliner of novel coronavirus in his Grosse Pointe Woods home. Gary Fowler, 56, went to the emergency rooms of three metro Detroit hospitals in the weeks leading up to his death, begging for a coronavirus test, begging for help because he was having difficulty breathing, but was repeatedly turned away, Keith said. (Shamus, 4/19)