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 webmaster | 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

Dubai Hotels Show Generosity Amid COVID-19 Hardship
Dubai Hotels Show Generosity Amid COVID-19 Hardship

"We’re all one community and it’s only natural to help each other,” says the manager of Zabeel House by Jumeriah - The Greens, one of two Dubai hotels offering free stays for those struggling in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Tunisia Eyes Economy After Declaring COVID-19 Victory
Tunisia Eyes Economy After Declaring COVID-19 Victory

Tunisian PM Elyes Fakhfakh told Tunisians they should be proud to have beaten the virus, but economic unrest looms.

US Burns With Anti-Racism Rage One Week After George Floyd’s Murder
US Burns With Anti-Racism Rage One Week After George Floyd’s Murder

Protestors chanting “I can’t breathe” and “George Floyd, say his name” filled the streets of Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, and 135 other cities around the US. Protests in cities like Phoenix and Albuquerque remained peaceful, while others turned violent, resulting in vandalism, burnt-out buildings, looting, and a heavy-handed police response.

Saudi Arabia's Sad Milestone: First COVID-19 Doctor Death
Saudi Arabia’s Sad Milestone: First COVID-19 Doctor Death

“He laid down his life for the humanitarian cause in these difficult circumstances. His services will always be remembered,” the Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said in a condolence message.