Joe Biden is stepping up his attacks on the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing management, saying Wednesday that “the crisis in Arizona is the direct result of Donald Trump’s failure to lead and his desire to ‘slow the testing down,’ and Americans are suffering the consequences.”
Biden specifically called for the White House to “immediately resume operating federally-managed community-based testing around the country and establish multiple sites in Arizona.” And, in recent weeks, Biden has demanded that Trump “speed up the testing” nationwide, saying Trump has been “putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people.”
However, during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, the Obama administration suddenly told states to shut down their testing, without providing much in the way of explanation. And, Biden’s top advisor at the time has acknowledged that the Obama administration didn’t do “anything right” to combat that pandemic, before walking back those comments.
The record seemingly complicates Biden’s claims, in advertising and speeches, that he would have handled state-level coronavirus testing more effectively than the current White House.
“In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases,” CBS News reported in 2009. “The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there’s an epidemic?”
Reporter Sharyl Attkisson continued: “Some public health officials privately disagreed with the decision to stop testing and counting, telling CBS News that continued tracking of this new and possibly changing virus was important because H1N1 has a different epidemiology, affects younger people more than seasonal flu and has been shown to have a higher case fatality rate than other flu virus strains.”
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