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National testing is a failure

To the editor:

President Trump says the federal government can’t be expected to organize a national testing program for the COVID-19 virus pandemic. The president asserts there’s no way that the federal government should be expected to figure out where some Walmart parking lot is in some state in order to set up a drive-thru virus testing program there. He says the states should do it.

Really? Elements of the same federal government that could figure out where senior al-Qaeda leader, Farouq al-Qahtani, was in Afghanistan last month and then blow up his motorcade with a missile from a drone, but now they can’t find the Walmart parking lot in Cleveland.

When the federal Center for Disease Control’s projected massive shortages of ventilators in New York, California, and Washington state, the President told the governors of those states to go out and buy their own ventilators on the open market; same with personal protection equipment for poorly protected nurses, doctors, and emergency medical personnel. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said the federal stockpile of ventilators and medical supplies wasn’t for the states to use. Seriously, Jared? Who are they for, then, and why are you on my TV?

While you were staying home and staying safe, Jared and his wife Ivanka (née Trump) were jetting off to daddy’s private golf club in New Jersey. Glad they could find it.

Why can’t you get a coronavirus test? One major hurdle has been a lack of nasal swabs; essentially bendable, sterile q-tips. It took until Thursday, Apr. 16 for the Food and Drug Administration to decide that it would allow a broader range of swabs to be used in tests, including some made of polyester that should be far easier to manufacture.

Allowing alternate swabs, “demonstrates the ingenuity that results from FDA working in partnership with the private sector,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement. “The Trump Administration has been working side-by-side with our industry partners to fight this pandemic, and today is a great example of that work.”

For the past three years I’ve been sitting here hoping that nothing bad would go wrong. Now it has. Heaven help us.

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