‘No one is talking about this’: Trump refused to say when everyone who needs a coronavirus test can get one

President Donald Trump reacts angrily to a question asking what he would say to Americans who are scared during his administration’s daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, March 20, 2020. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
  • President Donald Trump on Friday suggested “no one is talking” about how Americans are struggling to get tested for coronavirus.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top expert on infectious disease in the US, then stepped up to say it’s a “reality” that not all Americans can get tested and that in many cases people are being turned away.
  • Earlier this month, Trump falsely claimed “anybody” who needs a test can get one.
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President Donald Trump on Friday did not answer when asked how long it will take for coronavirus tests to be available to anyone who needs one.

Trump said “no one is talking about this” when asked about it by a reporter during a White House press briefing, dismissing what has been perhaps the most-discussed topic regarding the US government’s bungled response to the pandemic.

Many Americans have shared stories on how difficult it is to get tested, even when they’re symptomatic. But Trump on Friday said “I’m not hearing it” when asked about this.

Moments later, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top expert on infectious disease in the US, stepped up to the podium and said it’s a “reality” there aren’t enough tests for people in the US and that they’re often being turned away.

“We are not there yet because otherwise people would be never calling up saying they can get a test,” Fauci said.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has been tasked with spearheading the US government’s response to coronavirus, then said, “I just can’t emphasise enough about the incredible progress that we have made on testing.”

This came two weeks after Trump visited the CDC in Atlanta and falsely stated that “anybody” who needs a test in the US can get one.

The US is facing a shortage of coronavirus test kits, linked to fault kits sent out by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in February. Many other countries, such as South Korea, have far outpaced the US in terms of testing for the virus. With inadequate numbers of test kits, the US does not have a full picture of the scale of the outbreak within its borders.

Earlier this month, Fauci said the lack of testing in the US is a “failing” on the part of the federal government.