While there is still no agreed-upon medicine or vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus as of right now, the one thing just about every medical professional has agreed on is that there needs to be more testing done to ensure medical professionals and the public at large are aware of where the virus is hitting the country the hardest. Of course, you can’t increase testing if you don’t have any supplies to do so, which is where President Trump and a number of governors are butting heads.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Vice President Mike Pence said “there is a sufficient capacity of testing across the country today for any state in America.” In a daily press conference, President Trump also said that testing swabs and reagents “are so easy to get.”
Despite those positive messages, a number of governors have disagreed with these notions. CNN hosted a State of the Union, inviting a number of governors from states like Virginia, Washington, and Maryland. “It’s not accurate to say there’s plenty of testing out there, and the governors should just get it done,” Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said on CNN’s show. “That’s just not being straightforward.”
Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, shared a similar sentiment with CNN. “We are fighting a biological war. We have been asked as governors to fight that war without the supplies we need,” he said.
So what kind of testing does the United States need in order to provide valuable information to government and medical officials? As reported by the New York Times, studies from Harvard are suggesting the country needs to triple its testing output as quickly as possible. According to the COVID Tracking Project website, there are around 150,000 new tests being issued every day. This means that based on Harvard’s research, the number of daily tests needs to be boosted to around 450,000 daily before the country can start creating plans to reopen.
Thankfully, more testing supplies could be coming soon. As The New York Times is reporting, President Trump is considering invoking the Defense Protection Act to compel one facility to produce as many as 20 million test swabs per month. These new supplies should help testing sites around the country by issuing the necessary swabs and reagents required to provide more comprehensive information.