CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper grilled Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and coronavirus testing czar, about ongoing failures to ramp up COVID testing in the U.S., asking him, “Are you afraid to bring this up to President Trump because it will upset him?”
Replied Giroir: “Nobody in the task force is afraid to bring up anything to the vice president or the president. Every time I’ve met with the president, he’s been listening to all the data, he assesses that, he understands it. I meet with the vice president almost every single day. No one is trying to stop testing in this country. No one has ever told me to do that. We want more, we want better, we want quicker.”
But Tapper had repeatedly pointed out that the Trump administration has continuously failed to ramp up testing to where it needs to be.
Said Tapper: “Harvard has been saying for months that you need to have millions of tests a day and having five veterinary labs okayed for this is not the same thing as having every single lab in the United States that is able to do this up and running and turning around the tests on a more quick basis so that people can find out where the virus is, identify it and isolate it. Here’s a question: when I say you haven’t done everything you can, this is what I mean. Has the Trump administration forced federal labs to hire more workers, buy more equipment? Has President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to get every commercial lab up to speed? Has the Trump administration invoked the Defense Production Act to get contact tracing up to speed? There are millions of unemployed Americans could be working at labs and doing contact tracing. That’s what I mean: a Manhattan Project-like effort?”
Replied Giroir: “I think that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. The Manhattan Project-like effort’s being led by the vice president of the United States with the top officials from multiple sectors meeting multiple times a week and literally 24/7 since this started. We invoked the Defense Production Act numerous times, we’ve invested in multiple different technologies. Every single day I have a working group looking at how to invest. That’s something that we do and you’ll see more investments coming later today. Really, everything that you’re talking about.”
“With all due respect. It’s July, it’s almost August. We’re months into this pandemic and we’re still hearing about testing problems. … In March, President Trump said, falsely, ‘anyone who wants a test can get a test.’ At what point will it be true, sir?”
Responded Giroir: “What is true now is anyone who needs a test can get a test.”
Giroir went on to spew a bunch more nonsense about the Trump administration’s inadequate response.
Clips via Raw Story.