Editorial: Trump, Congress need to fund COVID-19 testing and tracing
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 -- When states turn to President Donald Trump for leadership and coordination - particularly amid challenges in testing and tracing the spread of the COVID-19 virus - they are ignored, rejected and opposed. The result has left states competing for scarce resources and unable to accomplish the primary objectives that the White House Coronavirus Task Force says are critical to limiting the spread and bringing the pandemic under control. It is an unwise and untenable state of affairs.Posted — Updated
When states turn to President Donald Trump for leadership and coordination – particularly amid challenges in testing and tracing the spread of the COVID-19 virus – they are ignored, rejected and opposed.
Testing in North Carolina and other states has been challenged by limited supplies and slow processing. State Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said she’s been concerned about “ballooning turnaround times” at labs -- from two- or three-days last month to an average of six or more days now.
- “Increasing testing, isolating cases, implementing contact tracing.”
- “Promote social distancing and required wearing of cloth face coverings when outside the home.”
- “Continue to keep bars closed and counties with 7-day average test positivity greater than 10%, restrict the number of restaurant patrons to 25% of occupancy or lower.”
- “Continue to track cases, test percent positivity and hospitalizations to identify local pockets of increased transmission.”
While many Senate Republicans working on the latest relief package are pressing to include funding for testing and tracing, Trump’s advisers have been reticent.
North Carolina’s voices in the Senate – Richard Burr and Thom Tillis – have been all too quiet at a critical time when action is needed. Voters need to know where their representatives stand.
Burr and Tillis need to speak up. They need to demand and back a relief bill so the state can expand testing, tracing. This is critical. It needs to happen now. They must take real action to arrest the pandemic.