Klobuchar: Minnesota suffering from 'lack of national strategy' on coronavirus

Klobuchar: Minnesota suffering from 'lack of national strategy' on coronavirus
© Greg Nash

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate MORE (D-Minn.) said Sunday that Minnesota is suffering from a “lack of national strategy” on how to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

The former 2020 presidential candidate said on ABC’s “This Week” that Minnesota “like every state” needs a national strategy for testing to move toward reopening businesses. She said that planning “should have happened months ago.” 

“We can tune out this president's rants about chugging bleach, but we can't tune out the fact that we have a lack of protective equipment, that we do not have enough testing, that there is an absence of national leadership,” she told host George Stephanopoulos.

Klobuchar said she appreciated that White House adviser Kevin Hassett “did acknowledge the seriousness of this” in his preceding interview with “This Week” but she pointed out he didn’t talk about testing. 

She said testing needs to double to allow meatpacking and food processing plants in Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest to reopen. 

“We're going to have trouble with our food supply chain, George,” she said. “We're going to have trouble in rural America.”

Minnesota has conducted approximately 56,597 tests, according to the state health department’s website. Several lawmakers and governors have called for a boost in testing nationwide before reopening state economies and experts say widespread testing will be key to restarting public life without causing a resurgence of the outbreak.

The coronavirus has infected at least 940,797 people in the U.S., leading to at least 54,001 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The meatpacking industry has taken a hit recently as coronavirus outbreaks develop in plants, prompting workers to request improved work conditions.