US Sees New COVID-19 Peak, Trump Aims to Cut Testing

The US reports a record 38,672 new coronavirus cases while President Trump plans to cut federal support for testing sites.

  • By externalwire | June 25, 2020,7:13 pm
US Sees New COVID-19 Peak, Trump Aims to Cut Testing

The United States has set a new unfortunate record in its problematic COVID-19 response, reporting 38,672 new infections on June 24. The epidemic appears to be spreading most rapidly in the urban centers of conservative states with Arizona, Texas, and South Carolina leading the nation in new infections.

But US President Donald Trump has a plan to radically bring down the number of reported infections: Reducing testing. During a campaign rally in Tulsa on June 22, Trump admitted that he asked his team to “slow the testing down please,” which his new plan to stop federal funding for COVID-19 testing sites clearly reflects.

Rising cases

Since the start of the US epidemic, the country has reported more than 2.3 million cases and 120,955 deaths, with the coronavirus now claiming more American lives than World War I. The US has so far performed 28.6 million COVID-19 tests, meaning less than 10% of its population has been tested for the virus.

While the initial outbreak in the US was mostly situated on the East Coast with hot-spots in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, those states appear to have brought transmission down significantly. But while tightly controlled lockdowns helped curb the spread of the virus in the East, resistance to government measures in traditionally conservative states kept the outbreak from ever concluding its first wave.

Florida, Arizona, Texas, and South Carolina all reported record-high cases while California stood out as another new hotspot, recording 5,019 new cases in a single day. The spread of the virus in populous states like California, which is home to 39.5 million, and Texas, where 29 million people live, means the epidemic is likely still on the increase.

Limiting testing

The Trump administration confirmed on Wednesday, June 24, that it plans to end federal funding for some COVID-19 testing sites, many of which are in hard-hit Texas. The move would end funding for 13 testing sites, seven of which are in Texas. The funding would end on July 1 but four US congresspeople are urging the Trump administration to reconsider.

The four legislators called the move “harmful and irresponsible” in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “We need the support of Fema now more than ever as our communities and the state of Texas see unprecedented growth in cases of the coronavirus disease,” the congresspeople added.

According to the Guardian, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have increased by 60% in the last week alone. Limiting testing during a growing epidemic would make it difficult to stop the spread of the coronavirus. According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Trump administration has $14 billion in available funding for testing and tracing.

The fact that the government chose to defund critical testing sites could easily qualify as less a public health consideration and more a public relations strategy.

Related Articles

Astronomer Predicts Eid al-Adha Will Fall on July 31
Astronomer Predicts Eid al-Adha Will Fall on July 31

Astronomer Ibrahim al-Jarwan from the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences said he predicts Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday to celebrate the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, is likely to fall on July 31 this year.   “The crescent of the lunar month of Dhu Al Hijjah 1441 is to be spotted on Monday, July […]

: Kuwait Announces Ambitions to Decrease Reliance on Migrant Workers
Kuwait Announces Ambitions to Decrease Reliance on Migrant Workers

Kuwait's population could decrease by millions in the near future as the government aims to "address the imbalance."

Palestinian PM Calls for EU Sanctions on Israel
Palestinian PM Calls for EU Sanctions on Israel

Palestinian PM Calls for EU Sanctions on Israel

Tensions Ease in Lebanon After Weekend of Sectarian Clashes
Tensions Ease in Lebanon After Weekend of Sectarian Clashes

What started as peaceful marches protesting the country’s economic crisis, fuelled by endemic corruption, descended into worrying sectarian clashes decried by Lebanese politicians, religious leaders, and the army as a “dangerous ordeal” planned by certain factions.