Coronavirus

Feds End Financial Support for Virus Testing Sites

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime and their lackeys in conservative media have launched a coordinated chorus for reopening the economy next month, but we're about to fall back on the only thing that could make that possible.

The federal government is preparing to end financial support for virus testing sites and is leaving states to fend for themselves for better or worse in some cases.

Some local officials are disappointed the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday. In a few places those sites will close as a result. This as criticism continues that not enough testing is available. [...]

The agency and a spokesperson for FEMA say the CBTS program originally included 41 sites. It was intended as a stop-gap to bring testing to critical locations, especially for health care facility workers and first responders.

"The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most," the HHS spokesperson said.

If we're going to send people back to work and gather in public even in small spaces like restaurants or bars again, it's going to require testing nearly everyone so we know who can go out in public and who needs to stay home.

It sure seems like there's no chance in hell that's going to happen anytime soon. At the very least, it does not appear that anyone is preparing for that.

If government officials tell everyone to go outside again without tracking and tracing the virus, it could lead to a second, wider outbreak. A second outbreak later this year may be inevitable in any case because a vaccine may not be available until next year, but rushing out of the gate to restart the economy too quickly could lead to another outbreak sooner rather than later and that would defeat the purpose of reopening the economy just to shut it back down again.

Maybe states do know where resources are needed most, but I feel confident that we won't be able to do the wide-scale testing we need without major federal spending. Just preparing to reopen the economy will probably require it's own legislation from Congress. That is if we want to do it right.

If the plan is to reopen everything and simply hope for the best, I don't think it's going to turn out well.

  • sawadee2000

    I haven’t heard anyone mention the fact that like the flu, COVID-19 will probably mutate into a new virulent strain. Call it COVID-20. This is why people get flu shots every year. So even if a vaccine is developed for COVID-19. it probably would not be effective against COVID-20. This is why we cannot let our guard down and dismantle our defenses against another pandemic. We may very well have an unending series of pandemics, This s pretty scary stuff. Scarier is the thought of Trump still being in the white house pushing snake oil “cures”. I keep hoping that maybe (just MAYBE) people will see that their Dear Leader has no clothes and send him packing….hopefully right into the loving arms of the prosecutors of the Southern District of New York 🙂 If for some reason the American people are stupid enough to re-elect this buffoon, I still have a lovely home in the north of Thailand I can return to.

  • gescove

    The testing failures by this administration continue apace. The case numbers won’t go up if you don’t test. It’s Trump putting his fingers in his ears and shouting “La-la-la-la-la”.

  • Ellen Kuhlmann

    I think Andrew Cuomo, my go to source for what’s happening in NY on the virus, said the same thing today, that it will be private companies that get us up to scale on testing, but that the money would have to come from the feds. The state has no money at the moment, as they are no taking in revenue.

  • muselet

    Isn’t it amazing how many things just plain aren’t the responsibility of the federal government, according to the Trump administration?

    Providing medical equipment and supplies? No, we are petulantly informed by Jared Kushner, “The notion of the federal stockpile is that it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

    Funding testing centers to help reduce the spread of a potentially deadly disease? Nope. That was intended merely as a stopgap until states stepped up.

    Why, it’s almost as if public-health policy is being made without input from experts in public health.

    Without equipment and supplies, medical personnel are at increased risk of exposure to the virus and more patients die. Without systematic, widespread and repeated testing, with a testing regime in place before social restrictions are lifted, there is no way accurately to track the course of the disease.

    Sickening and killing more people for the sake of the abstract concept of the economy is madness.

    The Right is utterly mad.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    See, if you test, the number of confirmed cases goes up, and in Right Wing World, (remarkably difficult to say repeatedly, or maybe it’s my drugs) they can’t have that. We have an economy to think of!