- President Donald Trump falsely claimed that the Obama administration was responsible for slowing diagnostics testing, CNN reported.
- However, an aide for a Republican senator said Trump’s claim is inaccurate.
- The Trump administration however, has cut funding for several agencies responsible for battling the current coronavirus outbreak.
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President Donald Trump claimed the Obama administration was responsible for slowing down diagnostics testing in a meeting on the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, CNN reported.
“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing,” Trump said during the meeting, according to CNN.
However, an aide for a Republican senator said Trump’s claim is inaccurate. Taylor Haulsee, an aide for Sen. Lamar Alexander, told CNN that the Obama administration may have pushed for the Food and Drug Administration to have “more oversight” on diagnostics testing.
The, however, proposal never went into effect.
It’s not just Haulsee who claimed Trumps statement was inaccurate, Peter Kyriacopolous, an policy expert at the Association of Public Health Laboratories told CNN that while there was an interest in allowing the FDA to regulate lab-developed drugs, it never happened.
“We aren’t sure what rule is being referenced,” Kyriacopolous told CNN.
Business Insider previously reported Trump has “spent the past several years gutting the very government programs that are tasked with combatting such a crisis.” In 2018, the CDC cut 80% of its effort to prevent global disease outbreaks, and went from working in 49 countries to only 10, due to cut funds.
One public health expert told Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth that the US was no better prepared than China to handle this outbreak.
“We’re behind the curve, possibly well behind the curve” when it comes to being prepared, Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, told Business Insider.
According to Foreign Policy, the Trump administration also shut down the entire global-health-security unit of the National Security Council, eliminated the US government’s $30 million Complex Crises Fund, and reduced national health spending by $15 billion.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence conceded that there were not currently enough tests, but said that production was being ramped up and it was expected that there would be in the coming weeks.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
- Read more:
- Trump spent the past 2 years slashing the government agencies responsible for handling the coronavirus outbreak
- Trump is headed for a political reckoning as his response to the coronavirus paints a grim picture of his ability to handle a pandemic
- Trump is furious with the CDC for doing its job
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