President Trump continued to ignore the urgent pleas of public health officials Thursday as he once again called on the U.S. to reopen much of its economy in early May. Trump admitted coronavirus testing would not be widely available by then, but insisted his plan wouldn’t risk a second wave of coronavirus infections and deaths. Trump was questioned by CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.
Jim Acosta: “How can the administration discuss the possibility of reopening the country when the administration does not have an adequate nationwide testing system for this virus? Don’t you need a nationwide” —
President Donald Trump: “No.”
Jim Acosta: — “testing system for the virus before you reopen?”
President Donald Trump: “No, we have a great testing system. We have the best — right now the best testing system in the world.”
Over 1 million people across the U.S. have been tested for the coronavirus — just a fraction of 1% of the population. After National Public Radio reported the Trump administration was preparing to end federal support for coronavirus testing sites around the U.S. on Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services reversed course and said it will continue to fund 41 community testing sites around the U.S.