House Oversight asks for Trump administration's coronavirus testing plan

Mar 19, 2020
In The News

The House Oversight Committee asked the Trump administration on Thursday to demonstrate how it plans to produce and distribute coronavirus testing kits to Americans.

The big picture: The testing capacity for the coronavirus has expanded in the U.S. as more commercial labs pledge to up production. But labs have been sounding the alarm about dwindling supplies — and early testing failures left the country in the dark on how many people have been exposed to the virus.

What they're saying: "We are gravely concerned that, due to multiple missteps, people across the country have been unable to get tested as healthcare providers are being forced to ration the extremely limited number of tests available, significantly degrading our country's ability to conduct accurate modeling of the spread of the virus," House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked, alongside other subcommittee chairs.

  • The Trump administration's coronavirus task force has fallen short of its promise to ship millions of tests to Americans by last week, the chairs point out.
  • The committee also wants information on how the administration plans to produce and ship coronavirus tests, which officials are involved in coordinating the effort, and documentation on the country's testing capacity.

Flashback: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last week that the health care system "is not really geared to what we need right now" when asked if there is one person in charge who can ensure that Americans who need coronavirus tests are receiving them.

  • "That is a failing. Let's admit it. ... The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it — we're not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we're not," he said.

Go deeper: Coronavirus testing is getting better