Touting America as the world leader in coronavirus testing, President Donald Trump announced a "massive investment" in funding being sent to states and Native American tribes to conduct world-class coronavirus testing.
"To further expand our nation's testing capabilities, this afternoon I'm announcing that my administration – we have this all approved, it's done – we are sending $1 billion to American state, territories and tribes," Trump told reporters during a White House coronavirus task force briefing in the Rose Garden on Monday.
"This is all been approved, we got that done, completed. This money is going out. This major investment will ensure that America continues to conduct more tests than any country on Earth by far."
Trump said $1 billion, but testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said the amount being funded for state and localities conducting tests will be $11 billion.
"We have prevailed on testing," Trump said Monday, clarifying the virus is not defeated. "You never prevail when you have 90,000 people, 100,000 people – when you have 80,000 people as of today – when you have the kind of death you are talking about, potentially millions of people around the world that are dying.
"What I'm talking about is we have a great testing capacity now. It's getting even better. There is nobody close to us in the world and we certainly have done a great job on testing."
Trump announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized more than 92 different tests and over 9 million have been tested to date, with Trump predicting the U.S. will go over 10 million tests this week.
"In the span of just a few short months we have developed a test and capacity on a matched and unrivaled anywhere in the world, and it's not even close," Trump told reporters. "This is a core element of our plan to safely and gradually reopen America, and we are opening and were starting, and there is enthusiasm I haven't seen in a long time. Every American should be proud of the amazing array of talent, skill, and enterprise our nation has brought to this challenge."
More than 1.9 million tests were conducted last week and Adm. Brett Giroir said the goal is to get to 12 million tests per month soon.
Giroir said the 3 million tests per week would permit not only diagnostic virus testing, but also contact tracing and asymptomatic surveillance testing.
Senior administration officials said the federal government will begin distributing $11 billion from the latest relief bill to boost state testing efforts.
The coronavirus task force is providing states with enough supplies to meet their testing goals.
At a minimum, the White House wants all states testing at least 2% of their populations, though the administration has declined to elaborate on how that number was reached.
The U.S. seeks to increase testing to the levels public health experts say are essential to safely reopen offices, schools, churches, restaurants, and other parts of the economy.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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