US Plans ‘Radical Expansion’ of Coronavirus Testing

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Donald Trump

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that it would allow hundreds of laboratories to test for the virus, while Donald Trump administration said it was distributing tens of thousands of testing kits.

The US’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar said after weeks of stalled testing for the coronavirus, the US now has enough diagnostic kits to test 75,000 people, with more on the way.

The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism for a slow and scattered delivery of testing materials to states, where only 12 labs are capable of diagnosing the virus.

Mr. Azar’s announcement, on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” came a day after the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was giving laboratories and hospitals across the country the go-ahead to conduct tests that had been severely limited to those analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re not going to find what we’re not looking for, so lifting the restrictions on diagnostic testing will put a lot of minds at ease,” said Haley Holmer, an epidemiologist who happens to have a child at an elementary school in Lake Oswego, Ore., that is closed because a school employee was found to have been infected by the coronavirus.

Mr. Azar said on Sunday that the diagnostic kits, which will be distributed within two weeks, represented “a radical expansion even beyond that of the testing that’s available.”