Trump planning to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests


Announcing the distribution plan Monday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden, Trump claimed the testing effort would "allow every state on a very regular basis test every teacher who needs it".

President Donald Trump, under fire over his handling of the coronavirus epidemic, announced on Monday the federal government would ship 150 million rapid tests to US states and warned an increase in positive cases is likely in the days ahead.

By last week, the United States had conducted 100 million Covid-19 tests, which he said is by far more than any other country, and not even close. Although governors will be in charge of deciding how to use the rapid tests they receive, Trump and HHS testing czar Brett Giroir encouraged state leaders to deploy the tests to help reopen schools.

The federal government announced that it will be distributing 150 million of the new tests, made by Abbott Laboratories, including 100 million that will be sent to states.

"We are now at an inflection point in testing".

Most Americans give Trump poor marks on his handling of the pandemic, which is weighing heavily on his re-election campaign. Each costs $5 and can be analyzed in 15 minutes without the use of laboratory equipment.

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Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and virus adviser Scott Atlas warned more positive cases may result from stepped up testing.

"Here's our plan: 50 million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities", such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Trump said.

According to a report by The Hill, the Abbott tests, which are cheaper and faster than lab tests, return results in about 15 minutes and are already widely used in nursing homes under a program set up by the Trump administration.

Pence added that the US has "capacity" to conduct three million daily tests, though there are not almost so many actually being performed.

Admiral Brett Giroir spoke at the press conference about US progress on covid testing, talking about the Abbott test and demonstrating how easy it is. It uses a specific nasal swab and that swab comes with the test.