Trump Admin Ending Support For 7 Texas Testing Sites As COVID Cases Spike
The Trump administration is ending its support for 13 coronavirus testing sites across five states, according to The Hill. This decision comes as Covid-19 cases begin to spike in states around the country.
- Seven of the testing sites being closed are located in Texas, prompting the Houston Health Department’s public health authority to write that withholding federal support could have “catastrophic cascading consequences.”
- The Hill noted that cases numbers in Texas are rising, “with the state breaking records for its daily new case count on Monday and Tuesday, with 4,760 and 5,080 new cases respectively.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency funded community-based testing sites across the five states, with the program that was initially scheduled to end in early April being extended until the end of June.
- The assistant secretary of the HHS Ben Giroir responded to criticisms that the federal government was withholding support from testing sites by claiming, in contrary, that more testing sites were being created:
"The only truthful, but still misleading report in the media, is that we are transitioning 13 sites from the original now antiquated program to the more efficient and effective testing sites outlined above. All 13 sites were provided an extra 30 days from the original transition date in May, and I personally spoke with Governors from all 5 states involved, and/or their leadership designees, who agreed that it was the appropriate time to transition out of the original 13 sites and into the thousands of new testing options."
- Per the report, “An HHS spokeswoman told Talking Points Memo that the testing program aimed to ‘develop and bring initial testing capabilities to socially vulnerable locations across the country’ and states were supposed to ‘transition’ to control testing at the end of June.”
- Senate Minority Leader Charles Shumer (D-NY) spoke out about the move, writing in a tweet that Trump “thinks the right move is to pull federal support for testing out of hotspot areas.”