Journalist Katherine Eban wrote in Vanity Fair how a national COVID-19 testing plan was created in March, but then killed in April by Trump and his advisors (including Jared Kushner):
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
Eban explained to Democracy Now how the Trump White House actually thought COVID-19 would not spread from blue states to red states:
They were really banking on this idea that you would not have spread from blue states to red states, which is an incredibly dumb gamble when you consider that this was a virus that crossed oceans, you know.
Eban said that the testing was turned over to the states, who were not equipped and still lack testing to this day:
And that really has led to what we have seen over this terrible summer: miles-long lines of cars in Texas and Arizona heat waiting on line to get tests, people waiting seven-plus days to get results, which essentially renders the tests useless.
And that’s where we are. You know, we cannot monitor where this virus is at point, because we don’t have enough testing. You cannot fight what you don’t see. And that is the predicament we are currently in.
Eban explained how Trump wants to reopen schools, but refuses to use a national testing plan to monitor the coronavirus:
So, kids who are going to school, workers who are returning back, how do you do any of that if you can’t quickly identify who is infected? So, without a national plan, the only thing that is left for you to do is to shut down the economy again, which is a really blunt instrument.
So, you know, President Trump says he wants to reopen the economy, he wants to reopen schools. But, literally, the only way to do that, according to the Rockefeller Foundation and other experts, is to have this widespread system of testing, which we currently lack.