Both Democratic and Republican governors in multiple states are pushing back against Vice President Mike Pence’s claims of adequate testing being available amid pressures for states to reopen.
Michigan, one of the hardest-hit states, reportedly has only approximately 1,000 tests per 100,000 residents despite being one of the nation’s hard-hit.
According to Whitmer, Michigan is facing a shortage of testing swabs and reagents to combat coronavirus. She noted that the state could likely double or triple the number of tests its conducting on a daily basis but without the proper testing supplies, they are unable to do so.
See Whitmer’s remarks below:
Northam also had similar sentiments about Virginia. When asked about the White House’s claim of adequate testing, Northam fired back, calling the statement “delusional.”
“That’s just delusional to be making statements like that,” Northam said.
He continued, “For the national level to say that we have what we need and really to have no guidance to the state levels is just irresponsible because we’re not there yet.”
See Northam’s remarks below:
Hogan also pushed back against the Pence and Trump’s testing capacity claims, saying, “It’s just absolutely false.”
The Maryland governor also believes limited testing capacity is likely “the number one problem in America” where the coronavirus is concerned.
“To say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow we aren’t doing our job, is just absolutely false,” Hogan said. “Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests.”
Hogan’s remarks were in response to Pence’s comments during a recent White House coronavirus press briefing where the vice president said, “We believe today that we have the capacity today in the United States to do a sufficient amount of testing for state’s to move into phase one at the time and manner that they deem to be appropriate.”
See Hogan’s remarks below:
President Trump’s claim that states have enough tests to reopen “is just absolutely false,” says Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “It’s not accurate to say there’s plenty of testing out there and the governors should just get it done. That’s just not being straightforward.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/0K48hRAgzI— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) April 19, 2020
The governors’ comments follow Pence’s remarks where he pressed governors to increase testing as they prepare to reopen states.
During an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Pence was asked about the reports detailing pertinent requirements needed to safely reopen the country — three times more testing and an increase in contact tracing.
Pence noted that testing for coronavirus — to detect the virus and monitor individuals with symptoms — would be available. He also confirmed the United States is currently doing approximately 150,000 tests per day but he thinks “we can double that number” by working with governors.
Check out Pence’s take on testing capacity below:
On FOX News Sunday: Chris Wallace asks @Mike_Pence if America needs more tests to open up the country. Mike Pence says the U.S. is conducting 150,000 tests a day: “we think we can double that number.” #FNS pic.twitter.com/pHRJJdpJqG— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) April 19, 2020
Adequate testing capacity has been a problem many governors have faced for weeks. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) recently revealed the challenges her state has faced trying to combat the coronavirus.
In addition to limited testing capacity, Kelly revealed on Friday that none of her medical supply orders to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been fulfilled, as previously reported on IJR.
Although Pence is confident about testing, governors are still apprehensive. As of Monday, the state of Texas has begun phases to reopen its economy.