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Politics White House announces major improvements in coronavirus testing (again)

01:40  29 september  2020
01:40  29 september  2020 Source:   news.yahoo.com

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Once again , President Trump, Vice President Pence and the coronavirus task force spoke to reporters at the White House today, updating the So this week, the actual testing capacity, Giroir says, is probably more like a few tens of thousands of tests a day. That's a big improvement , but it's certainly

The White House has acknowledged the nation does not have enough coronavirus test kits as cases of the disease ticked upwards on both US coasts. Vice-President Mike Pence said the Trump administration would not be able to meet its objective of delivering one million testing kits this week.

a close up of a sign © Yahoo News

WASHINGTON — The setting was familiar, and so were the assurances. Speaking from the Rose Garden on Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump promised a “massive and groundbreaking expansion” in the nation’s ability to perform diagnostic tests for the coronavirus.

“We are now at an inflection point in testing,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, a high-ranking Department of Health Human Services official who is in charge of testing on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He said that 920,000 coronavirus diagnostic tests were now being performed nationwide each day. Some seven million Americans have tested positive.

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The coronavirus has infected more than 4.4 million people around the world as of Thursday, killing at least But the level playing field may not last for long as there are already some signs that Amazon is gaining the capacity to ramp up its services again . A CVS offers drive-thru coronavirus self testing .

The White House coronavirus task force described grimly its projection for the death toll if Americans don’t heed physical distancing guidance for at Anthony S. Fauci and Deborah Birx, members of the White House coronavirus task force, said the country’s death toll could top 200,000 in the course of

The expansion was made possible by Abbott Laboratories, whose rapid BinaxNOW test can return results in mere minutes without requiring the intrusive nasal swab that can make a coronavirus test an acutely unpleasant experience.

The Trump administration purchased 150 million such tests for $760 million. They will go to nursing homes, schools and other institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities.

Trump first promised that any American could get a coronavirus test in early March. That was untrue at the time, and though the availability of tests has greatly increased, shortages persist in the United States. So do days-long waits to receive results from laboratories. The BinaxNOW test does not need to be sent to a laboratory.

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News comes after White House unveiled ANOTHER coronavirus coordinator amid market selloff. Pence said she would oversee the effort. announced he appointed Ambassador Debbie Birx to serve as the ' White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator,' she is a medical doctor who serves as

A testing site in Los Angeles on Thursday. The number of tests being conducted daily in the area is down from earlier peaks this summer.Credit Philip Cheung for The New York Times. Six months into the pandemic, testing remains a major obstacle in America’s efforts to stop the coronavirus .

Ever the nation’s cheerleader, Trump tried to use Monday’s announcement as a pivot away from a summer marked by persistently high death counts and fears of a second lockdown.

“We’re rounding the corner,” Trump said on Monday afternoon. He said much the same thing from the Rose Garden in May, telling the nation that “we have met the moment, and we have prevailed.” In subsequent weeks and months, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, while receding in New York and other early hotspots, would erupt in Sun Belt states like Florida, Arizona and Texas, where Republican governors eagerly followed the president’s call to reopen businesses and places of gathering.

Giroir demonstrated administration of the BinaxNOW test from a podium at the Rose Garden, dribbling six drops of test reagent onto a square of cardboard, swabbing his nostrils with a probe and then dipping it into the liquid. The results would be available in 15 minutes, he said. He did not disclose what they were.

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The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan legislative package in response to the spread of coronavirus in the early hours of Saturday morning following intense negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration.

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“This is a very sophisticated little piece of cardboard,” Giroir said as he concluded his demonstration.

“This is not a home test,” he warned, a reminder that the day when a COVID-19 diagnostic test is a household item as common as the hairbrush is still far away. A medical professional has to supervise the test, but it can be done anywhere: at the entrance to the school, or in the parking lot of a concert venue.

Donald Trump in a suit standing in front of a building: President Trump leaves after an event about coronavirus testing strategy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Yahoo! News President Trump leaves after an event about coronavirus testing strategy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The tests in use until now mostly require sending specimens to laboratories equipped with special equipment.

The advent of a quick, relatively accurate point-of-care test does mark an important advance, especially as the nation prepares for a cold-weather coronavirus test.

Notably absent from the event were prominent members of the coronavirus task force, including Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci. Instead, there were remarks by Dr. Scott Atlas, a Stanford brain-imaging specialist whose controversial opinions on the pandemic have earned him the ire of Dr. Robert Redfield, the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Redfield was overheard complaining on a commercial flight about Atlas, who has consistently misrepresented where the nation stands in its battle against the coronavirus.

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Major League Baseball will suspend all operations, including spring training, due to the coronavirus , according to NBC News. The official, Fabio Wajngarten, posted an Instagram image of him posing with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the White House 's coronavirus task force.

Tests authorized by the F.D.A. provide only a yes-no answer to infection, and will identify as positive patients with low amounts of virus in their bodies.Credit The most widely used diagnostic test for the new coronavirus , called a PCR test , provides a simple yes-no answer to the question of whether a

Trump’s announcement came as the death toll from COVID-19 topped 209,000 in the U.S. Public health officials fear it could greatly increase throughout the fall and winter, as cold weather drives people indoors and quarantine fatigue sets in.

About two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to polls from mid-September. Just how much he can do to change those opinions at this point is unclear, and earlier assurances of victory have likely jaded some who want to see real gains before celebrating.

“We’ve passed through a challenging time,” Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday.  This, too, was a reprise of sorts. “We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy,” Pence wrote in a widely discussed Wall Street Journal editorial. That was in June.

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