A day after telling Americans that he would extend his call to drastically scale back social activity until the end of April, President Donald Trump said his administration was making big gains in making more tests available to check for the Coronavirus, even as some elected officials said it was clear not all needs were being met.
"Over one million Americans have now been tested," the President said from the White House Rose Garden, praising companies for developing newer processes to more quickly test Americans.
"Today we reached a milestone in our war against the Coronavirus," Mr. Trump added.
As for his move to extend social distancing until April 30, the President urged Americans to join together.
"This is our shared patriotic duty - challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days," Mr. Trump said.
President Trump: "Over 1 million Americans have now been tested, more than any other country by far."@SecAzar: "we're now testing nearly 100,000 samples a day."— CSPAN (@cspan) March 30, 2020
Full video here: https://t.co/r3I4IIpnnJ pic.twitter.com/vzYcFTB4WG
While the President sternly defended his administration's record on testing - at one point rebuking a reporter for asking what he said was a 'snarky' question on the subject - there continue to be concerns voiced in both parties, and evidence from around the nation of testing shortages.
"We need to do more to ramp up our testing capacity," said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) on Monday, even as he praised efforts by the White House to achieve that.
"We have to do much more on testing, we’re ramping up, surging up in that capacity as we work toward some sort of medicine to address the virus," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).
As the President reportedly told Governors on a Monday call that he has not heard of testing shortages, there are examples readily available - like this from Huntsville, Alabama.
Just in from @HSVHospital : The Drive-through collection site at John Hunt Park will not reopen this week due to limited testing supplies. @waff48— Kate Smith (@KateSmithLive) March 30, 2020
Great work by @USFHealth. Robust testing is the best way we can help stem the spread of the #Coronavirus. We need to do more to ramp up our testing capacity.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 30, 2020
Thank you to @Lockwood_MD and his team for jumping into action when there is a need! https://t.co/e3MD4rBHsn
President Trump began his Monday briefing by referencing his Sunday announcement that he would extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
Voicing his support for scientific models about the spread of the virus, the President said the move to extend restrictions on social activities would pay off in a big way.
“We could save more than one million American lives,” Mr. Trump said, as he has said the most likely scenario right now involves between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans dying of the Coronavirus.
About the Author