The White House released new guidelines Monday aimed at answering criticism that America’s coronavirus testing has been too slow, and President Donald Trump tried to pivot toward a focus on “reopening” the nation.
Still, there were doubts from public health experts that the White House’s new testing targets were sufficient.
Monday’s developments were meant to fill critical gaps in White House plans to begin easing restrictions, ramping up testing for the virus while shifting the president’s focus toward recovery from the economic collapse caused by the outbreak.
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The administration unveiled a “blueprint” for states to scale up their testing in the coming week, a tacit admission, despite public statements to the contrary, that testing capacity and availability over the past two months have been lacking.
The new testing targets would ensure states had enough COVID-19 tests available to sample at least 2.6% of their populations each month — a figure already met by a majority of states. Areas that have been harder hit by the virus would be able to test at double that rate, or higher, the White House said.
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The testing issue has bedeviled the administration for months.