The Trump administration has put a focus on nursing homes, hospices, school children, black colleges, first responders and Native Americans in its expanding effort to distribute for free 150 million coronavirus tests to states.
In a coordinated effort capped by Vice President Mike Pence’s hour-long call with 43 governors to finalize the plan, the administration is prioritizing areas where the infections are 5%-10% and first responders.
What’s more, the administration through the Department of Health and Human Services is coordinating needed training for the Abbott BinaxNOW tests.
NEW: Following discussions over the weekend with the @WhiteHouse about rapid-testing resources for New Jersey, we’ve secured 2.6 million BinaxNOW rapid tests – significantly scaling up our testing capabilities.
The first 170,000 tests will come within the next two weeks.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) September 28, 2020
The new effort won praise from New Jersey’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy who told Pence in the Monday roll-out call, “Thank you Mr. Vice President and the whole team, thank you for everything but certainly thanks for today. This is a game changer, we’re proud of the testing regime that we have built with your great partnership with a lot of people in that room.”
Some media reports have claimed that the effort, spelled out Monday, has suffered from coordination hangups.
But Michael Bars, a White House senior communications adviser, said the planning has been in the works since Trump announced the effort in a March Rose Garden event.
“In March, President Trump called for an aggressive private-public partnership to advance testing capabilities in the United States – now six months later we are witnessing this promise in action