Trump remains part of the problem of US COVID-19 testing failure.

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The usual “anti-government” dismantling of the state preached by Trumpists rationalized their inability to contingency plan for testing failure. It started even before they took office.

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— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) March 16, 2020

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— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) March 16, 2020

This New Yorker article covers the bureaucratic errors in the pandemic response, made more ridiculous by IMPOTUS’s antics.

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— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 16, 2020

After his prepared remarks, Trump was asked by a reporter whether he felt any responsibility for the persistent lags in the nation’s testing capacity. “Yeah, no, I don’t take responsibility at all,” he said. “We were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about.” He was also asked about the dismantling, in 2018, of a National Security Council directorate dedicated to pandemic and bioterrorism planning. The directorate was established by the Obama Administration after the Ebola epidemic four years earlier, as a means to anticipate and coördinate the government’s response to biological disasters. “I just think it’s a nasty question,” the President replied. “I don’t know anything about it.”

The same day he castigated the C.D.C. on Twitter. “For decades the @CDCgov looked at, and studied its testing system, but did nothing about it. It would always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never happen, they hoped. President Obama made changes that only complicated things further.” Alberto Gutierrez, the former F.D.A. official, had little patience for Trump’s tweets and comments. “That’s not fair,” he said. “If a general who’s lost a war says, ‘I don’t take responsibility because the army that was built for me was an army for a different area’? No. It is part of the obligation of the government to figure out what is needed, and what’s changing, and how to change to meet those demands.” (The C.D.C. did not respond to requests for comment.)

Becker, for his part, insisted that Trump’s repeated assertions, since the epidemic began, that any American who wanted a covid-19 test would be able to get one represented a fundamental misunderstanding about the role the C.D.C. and the public-health laboratories are expected to play in an epidemic. “That immediately changed the game,” he said. “Instead of handling this from a surveillance and containment perspective, now we have to be in the mass-testing business. The laboratory system in this country is not set up to do that.”

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Because don’t you recall how much China was involved in our testing failure 

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— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 16, 2020

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