Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies

Democratic leaders said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE’s strategy for coronavirus testing is to “deny the truth” about the current lack of supplies.

Democrats, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Trump says he's considering executive action to suspend evictions, payroll tax Trump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMeadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program Senators press Postal Service over complaints of slow delivery MORE (N.Y.), reacted in a statement to the Trump administration’s plan for testing that was submitted to Congress on Sunday.

The congressional leaders alleged the administration “still does not have a serious plan” to boost testing to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further


“This disappointing report confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states,” the statement read. 

“In this document, the Trump Administration again attempts to paint a rosy picture about testing while experts continue to warn the country is far short of what we need,” it continued.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive House approves two child care bills aimed at pandemic GOP, Democratic relief packages B apart on vaccine funding MORE (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, also signed onto the statement.

The administration’s strategy sent to Congress pledged it would purchase 100 million swabs by the end of the year in order to distribute them to the states.

The report reiterates the administration's position that testing is a responsibility for the states instead of the federal government.


Trump’s strategy requests that all states test at least 2 percent of their populations in May and June. The report then details the testing targets that each state reported to federal officials in May. 

“With support from the Federal government to ensure States are meeting goals, the State plans for testing will advance the safe reopening of America,” the plan says.

In their statement, the Democratic leaders requested a better explanation for how the targets were determined, how they would be met and the consequences for states if they did not meet the targets. They also criticized the administration for placing the burden of responsibility on the states.

The Democrats also called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellProfessional sports players associations come out against coronavirus liability protections Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations MORE (R-Ky.) to stop blocking the most recent House-passed coronavirus relief package, so necessary funds could improve testing. The leaders said in order for the country to reopen, the U.S. needs free, accurate and reliable testing.  

Political leaders have disputed whether increased COVID-19 testing is necessary before reopening, as states across the country begin to loosen their restrictions. 

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.