Fauci Counters Trump Over COVID-19 Testing During ‘CNN Sunday’ Appearance

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Throughout the federal government’s often floundering response to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., President Donald Trump has lavished praise upon himself, and he’s even insisted that struggling governors who are in desperate need of supplies need to become “appreciative” before they’ll get a callback from the administration. Amidst these debacles, Trump has pushed to re-open the economy in large parts, even as the Coronavirus continues to spread, but this weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health delivered a grave counter to Trump’s rhetoric. He insisted during CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning that the U.S. is still weeks away from even a Coronavirus testing regimen that he thinks is up to par.

Amidst the federal government’s public relations campaign and guidelines to use “15 days to slow the spread,” Trump has suggested that they’ll be an incoming reassessment and potentially imminent relaxation of federal guidelines — although it’s worth noting that many of the toughest and actually binding restrictions are handed down by governors in the first place, not the White House. Host Jake Tapper asked Fauci:

‘When do you think you’ll be comfortable with the amount of testing being present so that restrictions can be lifted in some parts of the country?’

Fauci explained:

‘I think it’s going to depend a lot on the availability of those rapid tests that you can get really quickly, in fifteen minutes or so. You’ll know right away, so that when you identify someone who’s infected, that person doesn’t go out into society for a few days and infect a bunch of people… To put a time on it, it’s going to be a matter of weeks; it’s not going to be tomorrow, and it’s certainly not going to be next week. Maybe a little bit more than that.’

Trump, in contrast, has suggested that he wants to see packed churches by Easter, which is just two weeks away. Watch:

Besides the contrast with Trump’s rosy outlook for the near future, which, in reality, frequently proves completely disconnected from the actual reality of the situation, Fauci’s comments also contrast with Trump’s praise for the current U.S. Coronavirus testing regimen.

Trump, recently, claimed that anyone could get a Coronavirus test who wanted one — but that’s simply not true, and it remains not true amidst an ongoing struggle for supplies, although testing capabilities in the U.S. have grown rather significantly very recently. Trump even promised a couple of weeks ago that supermarket chains would offer Coronavirus testing sites in parking lots across the country, but that simply has not happened. It’s as if Trump is throwing claims at a wall and hoping they’ll stick.

Trump fumbled federal guidelines once already in recent days.

Over the weekend, he abruptly suggested that he was considering imposing a federal quarantine on areas including New York that have been especially hard hit by the virus, although the virus, to be clear, has been detected in every single state already — not just the ones that Trump doesn’t like. It’s unclear what authority Trump could have even used to give that order, and eventually, he announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would simply be issuing a travel advisory.