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Trump and Governors at Odds over Coronavirus Testing as Uneven Reopening of States Commences

HeadlineApr 20, 2020

President Trump and state governors continued to clash over the weekend over plans to roll back lockdowns and other protective measures as some states have already begun easing restrictions. Texas is reopening state parks today and later this week will allow retailers to open for delivery. In Florida, people descended on newly reopened beaches in several counties Friday, with images showing beachgoers flouting social distancing guidelines. But many governors say they can’t reopen their states without sufficient testing. Trump said Sunday he would invoke the Defense Production Act to order the production of more testing swabs, but administration officials continued to claim there is sufficient testing capability around the country. Trump is placing the responsibility for testing on governors.

President Donald Trump: “You must remember that the governors wanted to have total control over the opening of their states. But now they want to have us, the federal government, do the testing. And again, testing is local. You can’t have it both ways. Testing is a local thing, and it’s very important. It’s great, but it’s a local thing.”

Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan pushed back on Trump’s statements on CNN Sunday.

Gov. Larry Hogan: “To try to push this off 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. Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests.”

Meanwhile, new reports reveal the extent of the Trump administration’s inaction in the earlier stages of the coronavirus outbreak. A report published in The Times of Israel revealed that U.S. intelligence informed NATO and Israeli authorities of the risk of the outbreak as early as November. The White House reportedly did not deem the intelligence report “of interest.”

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