It’s been several months since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump just made a big announcement that will hopefully move the United States toward a place of complete reopening.
During an update on the administration’s testing strategy at the White House on Monday, the president announced that the federal government will be distributing 100 million rapid coronavirus tests to the states by the end of the year.
How will it work?
Last month, the White House announced its plan to buy 150 million rapid response tests, which it then obtained from Abbott Laboratories, Politico reported.
Trump said the federal government will be distributing the tests proportionally to the states, based on population. The first batch of 6.5 million tests for the states is expected to be sent out this week.
According to Politico, a sizable number of test kits have already been sent directly “to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, historically black colleges and universities, and areas damaged recently by wildfires and hurricanes.”
The tests will then be in the hands of each state’s governor who will able to decide how the tests are going to be used. The Trump administration, though, expressed hope that at least some of the tests would be used in schools.
The president has long argued for the reopening of schools for in-person learning, and while some counties have gone this route, others are still only online.
The tests, which are able to deliver results in only 15 minutes, could facilitate the reopening of schools on a wide scale. Parents would be able to test their children often, and teachers too would be able to keep an eye on their health. The new tests are also less invasive than the deep nasal swabs used by other tests, as was demonstrated during the announcement. Watch:
“The support my administration is providing would allow every state to on a very regular basis test every teacher who needs it,” the president said during his remarks Monday.
“3 million tests per day”
Assistant Secretary for Health and the Trump administration’s testing coordinator Brett Giroir said the United States has performed over 111 million tests for the coronavirus.
“On 13 separate days, we have achieved tests over 1 million per day, and our average test numbers are now approximately 920,000 per day,” Giroir said Monday. “We now have available, on average, 3 million tests per day, not counting pooled testing, which could multiply that number several fold.”
The United States has reported over 7 million coronavirus infections and over 200,000 deaths. The response from both the Trump administration and Democratic nominee Joe Biden to the pandemic will almost certainly be a central topic during the upcoming presidential debates.