Fox's Kilmeade presses Trump on rapid testing: 'What is going on with the Abbott test?'

"Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade pressed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE Wednesday on why the administration can't "flood the country" with the rapid 15-minute coronavirus test by Abbott Laboratories, with Kilmeade noting the country is still experiencing 60,000 new cases a day.  

The questions for the president come as approval on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic stands at 39 percent in the RealClearPolitics index of major polls while being a top issue for voters across the country with the U.S. presidential election less than 90 days away.  

"Mr. President, when it comes to the coronavirus, roughly we’re getting 60,000 new cases a day and 1,000 deaths, so that’s what’s got people freaked out," Kilmeade said in a phone interview on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday. "Got 18 states with increasing cases as they try to get a hold of this thing." 


"Going back to the testing for a second, while we have testing, we don’t have the reagents and we don’t have the swabs," the host continued. "I’m just wondering, what is going on with the Abbott test? If you've got that 15-minute test that the White House has all around the country, you don’t make the Abbott test. Why can’t they flood the country with the Abbott test? It would help sports, schools and businesses—"

"That’s what they’re doing, Brian," Trump interjected. 

"But where is this test?" Kilmeade asked. 

"We’re at 50 percent on the test," Trump replied. "The Abbott test or its equivalent where it’s a five-minute test and goes up to 15 minutes. It’s a great test. By the way, that test didn’t even exist until we came up with that test."

"But it’s like they stopped making it," Kilmeade responded. "I don’t know anybody that gets it. They're all going to these labs and it’s taking forever." 


"Brian, we have right now 50 percent. Fifty percent of the country is short-term testing. We’re going to more, but you have to remember, we did 61 million tests," Trump said. "The next country is — like, Germany is at three. India with 1.5 billion people is at 11. We’re at 61. Nobody’s even close to us in testing, and you know, it’s just another talking point." 

A number of experts have pushed to shift to cheaper, faster tests that can provide results in minutes, rather than days. They acknowledge the tests are less accurate, but contend that making it easier to quickly receive results, combined with continuing social distancing practices, will produce a net positive. 

According to Statista, for the metric of the number of tests performed per million population, the U.K. ranks at the top with 249,455 tests. Russia is second with 200,094, with the U.S. third with 186,055 per million. Germany is tenth with 95,527, with India 22nd with 15,554 per million. 

"And by the way, when you do a lot of testing you have more cases, so they say we have more cases. Well that’s because we test, and we find people that need help, and we take care of them," Trump said before later adding, "But most states [cases] are coming down. You look at a map and white means good. Most of the — most of the map is in the white color. The red color is the corona or potential, and it’s a very relatively small portion, but it’s coming down. Some states are going up a little bit, but they will very shortly — they’re under control, they’ll be coming down." 

The U.S. death toll topped 155,000 on Tuesday as recently hot spots including Arizona, Texas and Florida saw declines in cases and deaths.

The virus appears to be spreading in other states, however, with 21 states showing rising in cases in the past two weeks, including New Jersey, which has seen its number of new cases nearly double in two weeks.