WHO spokesman says agency had no talks with CDC about providing tests

WHO spokesman says agency had no talks with CDC about providing tests
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has had no discussions with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about providing tests for the novel coronavirus amid its worldwide outbreak, a spokesman said. 

Tarik Jasarevic told CNN on Tuesday that the U.S. normally doesn't work with the global health agency to provide testing to its citizens because the country typically is capable of producing tests on its own. He also said that WHO did not offer to give the CDC tests as it shipped hundreds of thousands to different countries dealing with the pandemic. 

The comments came as the White House and CDC face continued scrutiny over the slow pace of testing for the novel coronavirus. The U.S. had confirmed nearly 6,000 cases of the virus and at least 100 deaths as of Tuesday evening, according to a New York Times database


But health officials have warned that many more likely have contracted the virus but do not know it. 

The CDC in early January said that it had developed an early version of its own test for the virus without following protocols generated by WHO. The CDC said on Feb. 5 that it would begin sending tests to public health labs throughout the country. By that time, the WHO had already sent more than 250,000 tests to more than 70 laboratories, CNN noted. 

In the meantime, the U.S. struggled to launched broader testing for the virus, and some health labs said that testing kits weren't working as expected. The Department of Health and Human Services said in early March that it would probe a manufacturing problem in the original testing kits. 

The deficiencies caused several states to request emergency approval for state-specific tests. Every U.S. state and Washington, D.C., has now tested and confirmed a case of the coronavirus. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addressed the problems with testing on Tuesday, saying that neither President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE nor the CDC should shoulder the blame for it. 

"It was a complicated series of multiple things that conflated that just, you know, went the wrong way. One of them was a technical glitch that slowed things down in the beginning. Nobody’s fault. There wasn’t any bad guys there. It just happened," Fauci said on "The Hugh Hewitt" radio show.