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Colorado governor calls national testing 'a complete disgrace'

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisDirect cash payments have been critical for Colorado families — Congress must pass more Colorado investigating possible second case of coronavirus variant in National Guard members Colorado confirms first case of highly contagious COVID-19 variant in US MORE (D) on Sunday called the national testing effort for coronavirus “a complete disgrace.” 

Polis criticized the turnaround time of about a week for Americans to get test results during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The national testing scene is a complete disgrace,” the governor said, saying tests sent to private lab partners take seven to nine days, “maybe six if we’re lucky.” 

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He said the timeline renders the results “almost useless from an epidemiological or even diagnostic perspective.”

But Polis said the state’s lab has “done yeoman’s work,” with 2,000 to 3,000 tests per day and “even more” with in-state private lab partners. 

“While some are still sent out of state, and unfortunately that takes a long time, and we can’t count on it and our country needs to get testing right, we're trying to build that capacity in Colorado to process tests at that one- to two-day turnaround,” Polis added.

 

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddTrump has not contacted Pence since storming of Capitol: report Lawmakers mount pressure on Trump to leave office Jeffries: 'Trump may be in the Twitter penalty box, but he still has access to the nuclear codes' MORE pointed that “a lot of other states are testing more per capita” than Colorado. 

“I would say generally the states that have the highest caseload are going to have the highest testing, the highest positives, probably also the highest negatives,” Polis responded.  

Colorado has documented 39,788 positive cases of the coronavirus, with 432,848 people tested, according to state data. A total of 1,615 of state fatalities are attributed to COVID-19, and the state reports that 1,752 fatalities occurred among people who had COVID-19.

Nationwide, the U.S. has tested more than 44.9 million people, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The country has identified more than 3.7 million cases and at least 140,120 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday granted emergency use authorization for Quest Diagnostics to start pooled testing to boost testing capacity. 

The U.S. has struggled throughout the pandemic to keep up with testing, as more than half of the states are not hitting their targets, according to a New York Times report