Months into the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still issues with testing capacity in the United States. Just this weekend, philanthropist Bill Gates noted that the U.S. is “paying billions of dollars in this very inequitable way to get the most worthless test results of any country in the world,” calling the situation “testing insanity,” and there have been many, many anecdotal reports of issues like difficulty accessing tests and difficulty getting test results in a remotely timely manner. Nevertheless, during a Monday morning appearance on Fox & Friends, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany self-confidently proclaimed that supposedly, the U.S. is actually doing well enough that there’s even a supposed surplus of testing supply.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt posed the question:
‘I know some friends that stood in line for a long time. They had to travel from way out on Long Island over to Brooklyn to get in line and get these tests… there are only, like, three clinics on Long Island that are doing this. People who find out maybe someone they were around has tested positive — they want the rapid test to know if they need to go back to work or if they need to quarantine. What’s the latest on getting more rapid tests out there so people don’t have to wait in these long lines?’
McEnany self-confidently replied:
‘It’s important — the rapid tests are available throughout the nation, but we have prioritized making sure that the rapid tests get to places where we have vulnerable communities, like our nursing homes, where we’ve pushed a lot of this testing to protect America’s seniors, but there is even in our testing system, as it currently stands, excess testing capacity. Because some of the tests that do take a few days are not fully being utilized. So there’s excess capacity in the system.’
Watch her Fox appearance below:
If these tests are available, then why aren’t they being used? About a week ago, The New York Times reported that “many Americans are still having to wait many days for results, effectively rendering those tests useless.” In a recent survey, among those who have been tested throughout the pandemic, overall “about 10 percent of people reported waiting 10 days or more” for their results, the Times adds. It would be great if, amidst the national crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic, the White House could be counted on as a reliable source for support.