Trump Refuses to Do the One Thing That Is Necessary to Reopen the Economy

So once again, Democrats are stepping up to the plate.

I recently wrote that we have no idea how many coronavirus cases there are in the U.S. because testing has been extremely limited. The Biden campaign just released a video that makes the same point.

As the president obsesses about reopening the economy, this lack of testing becomes even more serious. Without a comprehensive testing initiative, it is impossible to track the path and penetration of the coronavirus, something that must be done in order to assure Americans that it is safe to go back to work.

It isn’t just public health experts that are sounding the alarm about reopening the economy prior to adequate testing. We’re hearing the same thing from both governors and business leaders.

On Wednesday, Trump held calls with business leaders aimed at figuring out how to scale back the distancing measures. Over and over, the executives made the same request: better testing. More testing. And testing that covers both of our hypotheticals, tests to track the spread of the coronavirus in the community and tests that allow businesses to protect their workforces.

In typical Trump fashion, the president passed on taking any responsibility.

“We want the states to administer these tests, for the most part,” Trump said. “But we’re standing behind them. We have great tests…We have the best tests of any country in the world…We want them to do it,” Trump said.

As a result, Senate Democrats are stepping up to the plate.

Senate Democratic leadership rolled out a proposal on Wednesday to ramp up nationwide coronavirus testing, which public health officials have said will be key to lifting social distancing measures.

The plan — unveiled by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other members of leadership — would provide $30 billion in emergency funding to increase testing and build out a structure for administering tests across the country…

Democrats are also recommending Congress establish a $4.5 billion per year fund for public health infrastructure that could be used to strengthen the ability to increase testing and the ability to trace who an infected individual has been in contact with.

What we have is yet another example of a president who refuses to take responsibility, Republican leadership that remains silent, and Democrats doing what is necessary to protect the health of the American people.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.