Coronavirus

White House Finally Decides We Might Need Testing

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If we're actually going to reopen parts of the economy at some point, we're going to have to test virtually everyone on a rotating basis to quickly find and stop more outbreaks and the White House is apparently just now realizing this.

NBC News reports that Trump's handlers are scrambling to come up with a testing plan of some description ahead of Trump's predetermined date of May 1st for reopening the economy.

Of course, in very Trumpian fashion, the scope of their ideas is still too small.

One proposal that’s been considered would involve the federal government partnering with major technology companies in an effort aimed at increasing testing capacity to at least 3 million tests a day, according to three people familiar with the plan. Some administration officials, however, cautioned that amount was unrealistic and said different types of testing would be strategically deployed. [...]

Another idea that’s been discussed would use the Defense Production Act to rapidly scale up testing, according to one person familiar with the discussions, though officials played down the idea given that Trump has been resistant to more consistently deploying that presidential power since he would rather use the law as leverage to get companies to take such steps.

Three million tests per day sounds like a lot, but that is less than one percent of country and NBC's source says that's "unrealistic" because there's no infrastructure in place to produce even that many tests right now.

Trump is reportedly going to announce guidelines for reopening the country as soon as tonight, but he has hinted that his plans, whatever they may be, probably aren't going anywhere.

“We have the best tests of any country in the world,” Trump said on Wednesday without evidence, adding that he’ll defer to governors on testing matters because “states are much better equipped to do it” and he didn’t want the federal government “running a parking lot in Arkansas.”

Trump isn't deferring to governors because states are "better equipped," he's deferring because neither he or anyone close to him has any idea what to do. The evidence tell us they aren't capable of "running a parking lot" even if they did want to.

You know, bad presidents come and go and I'm sure everyone reading this who is older than I am can remember times when previous presidents appeared to be completely clueless, but this is the first time in my life that I've seen the entire federal government run by people who have no clue how to handle anything.

I vividly remember the Bush administration, but the Trump regime makes civil servants under Bush look relatively competent. Trump's appointees are uniformly useless. The bar is historically low.

  • muselet

    It takes true talent to produce an omnishambles like this administration’s response to Covid-19.

    Talent is not always a good thing.

    –alopecia

  • gescove

    “Trump’s appointees are uniformly useless.” Amen. A consequence of Republicans’ abdication of their constitutional duties of ‘advice and consent’ and meaningful oversight of the Executive branch.