Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is ‘to deny the truth’ about lack of supplies

Democratic leaders said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: ‘Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart’ GOP sues California over Newsom’s vote-by-mail order MORE’s strategy for coronavirus testing is to “deny the truth” about the current lack of supplies.

Democrats, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: ‘Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart’ Federal aid to state and local governments should rely on real numbers MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump slams Sessions: ‘You had no courage & ruined many lives’ Senate Democrats call on Trump administration to let Planned Parenthood centers keep PPP loans States, companies set up their own COVID-19 legal shields MORE (N.Y.), reacted in a statement to the Trump administration’s plan for testing that was submitted to Congress on Sunday.

The congressional leaders alleged the administration “still does not have a serious plan” to boost testing to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further

“This disappointing report confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states,” the statement read. 

“In this document, the Trump Administration again attempts to paint a rosy picture about testing while experts continue to warn the country is far short of what we need,” it continued.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Zeldin says Congress must help states; Fauci’s warning; Dems unveil T bill The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Fauci testifies, discusses students returning in August MORE (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, also signed onto the statement.

The administration’s strategy sent to Congress pledged it would purchase 100 million swabs by the end of the year in order to distribute them to the states.

The report reiterates the administration’s position that testing is a responsibility for the states instead of the federal government.

Trump’s strategy requests that all states test at least 2 percent of their populations in May and June. The report then details the testing targets that each state reported to federal officials in May. 

“With support from the Federal government to ensure States are meeting goals, the State plans for testing will advance the safe reopening of America,” the plan says.

In their statement, the Democratic leaders requested a better explanation for how the targets were determined, how they would be met and the consequences for states if they did not meet the targets. They also criticized the administration for placing the burden of responsibility on the states.

The Democrats also called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPence: Next coronavirus relief bill would need legal shield for businesses GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill State Department scrutiny threatens Pompeo’s political ambitions MORE (R-Ky.) to stop blocking the most recent House-passed coronavirus relief package, so necessary funds could improve testing. The leaders said in order for the country to reopen, the U.S. needs free, accurate and reliable testing.  

Political leaders have disputed whether increased COVID-19 testing is necessary before reopening, as states across the country begin to loosen their restrictions. 

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

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