White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday faulted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on its handling of coronavirus testing, saying the CDC “really let the country down.”
NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddIf .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden GOP governor: Biden's vaccine mandate 'increases the division' Manchin says he can't support Biden's .5 trillion spending plan MORE asked Navarro on “Meet the Press” about the lack of a CDC briefings over the past month and whether President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE has “confidence” in the CDC during the pandemic.
“Early on in this crisis, the CDC which really had the most trusted brand around the world in this space, really let the country down with the testing. Because not only did they keep the testing within the bureaucracy, they had a bad test. And that did set us back,” Navarro said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Navarro also echoed a frequent claim by Trump that an economic shutdown would cost more lives than failure to slow the spread of the virus.
“The fact of the matter is, and what President Trump realized early on is that if you lock people down, you may save lives directly from the China virus. But you indirectly, you're going to kill a lot more people,” Navarro said. “And why do I say that? We know statistically based on our experience with the China trade shock in the 2000s that unemployment creates more suicides, depression and drug abuse.”
Navarro blasted unnamed “people in the medical community [who] just want to run and hide until the virus is extinguished,” saying such a strategy would kill more people than the virus.
Navarro also took aim at Democratic senators who have criticized White House progress on testing and called for ramped-up production of test kits, saying they were “looking in the rearview mirror.”
“They were saying the exact same thing, and what we did with ventilators was basically get a situation now where by June we’re going to have over a hundred thousand of them. We’re going to have more ventilators than America ever needs and we’re going to able to export those ventilators, make that an export industry that creates jobs here, exports there, and we’re going to be able to give ventilators to our allies that can’t afford them,” Navarro said. “So same thing’s happening with testing as we speak. Every week it ramps up.”