By Duncan Smith
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are continuing to do all they can to keep Americans panicked about coronavirus even as the outbreak wanes and the CDC finds that the death rate is about the same as an average flu season.
On Monday, both signed a letter along with Democrats complaining that the Trump administration doesn’t have “a serious plan for increasing testing” for coronavirus.
The ridiculous statement comes a day after the Department of Health and Human Services sent to Congress its plan to expand testing for COVID-19.
“After six months and nearly 100,000 lives lost, the Trump administration still does not have a serious plan for increasing testing to stop the spread of the virus,” the Democratic lawmakers said in their statement, according to Fox News.
“This disappointing report confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states.”
None of those accusations is correct.
First off, the HHS report, which was mandated as part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, notes that the United States is meeting and even exceeding its testing goals while also quickly expanding access to those tests even though some (mostly Democratic) governors are claiming they don’t have enough supplies.
“The nation has now performed over 12 million nucleic acid tests, with more than two million tests completed each week; and the numbers continue to grow,” the report states. “The rates of testing vary widely by state, with states experiencing the worst outbreaks generally performing substantially more tests than states less affected.”
And let’s not forget that the Trump administration took us from zero to 100 mph in less than a couple of months. The CDC’s initial coronavirus tests were garbage, but just 60 days later the Trump administration marshaled the national resources necessary to both develop and then mass-produce millions of very good coronavirus tests.
What’s more, recent reports have noted that there are actually more tests than there are Americans willing to take one.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month:
Four months into the U.S. coronavirus epidemic, tests for the virus finally are becoming widely available, a crucial step toward lifting stay-at-home orders and safely returning to normal life. But while many states no longer report crippling supply shortages, a new problem has emerged: too few people lining up to get tested.
Why aren’t more people showing up?
“Well, that’s the million-dollar question,” said Utah Health Department spokesman Tom Hudachko. “It could be simply that people don’t want to be tested. It could be that people feel like they don’t need to be tested. It could be that people are so mildly symptomatic that they’re just not concerned that having a positive lab result would actually change their course in any meaningful way.”
So ‘testing’ isn’t the benchmark for getting the country opened back up in the first place, despite what Pelosi, Schumer, and other Democrats claim.
As we’re seeing over Memorial Day weekend, America is reopening anyway, and fewer people seem concerned about a COVID-19 test that the vast majority of the country doesn’t need.