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A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site run by George Washington University Hospital, May 26, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

'Should Tell You All You Need to Know': Trump Attempting to Block Billions in New Funding for Covid-19 Testing

"Testing saves lives by detecting people who are infectious but don't know it, and allowing them to self-isolate. I try to avoid hyperbole but I can't think what to call this other than attempted murder."

Jake Johnson

With coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths rising in states across the U.S., the Trump administration is reportedly attempting to block the inclusion of billions of dollars in new funding for Covid-19 testing and contact tracing in the next stimulus legislation.

The Washington Post, citing anonymous officials, reported late Saturday that the White House's opposition to funding for coronavirus testing "has angered some GOP senators... and some lawmakers are trying to push back and ensure that the money stays in the bill."

"One person involved in the talks said Senate Republicans were seeking to allocate $25 billion for states to conduct testing and contact tracing, but that certain administration officials want to zero out the testing and tracing money entirely," the Post reported. The relief bill is being written in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) office and formal negotiations are expected to begin next week, when senators return from recess.

According to the Post, the administration is also aiming to "zero out $10 billion in new funding for the CDC in the upcoming bill" while simultaneously trying to include money for a new FBI building.

Bloomberg confirmed the Post's reporting on the administration's opposition to new testing and contact tracing funds, citing an anonymous person familiar with the ongoing and fluid discussions.

"Trump officials want no money for Covid testing and tracing in next coronavirus bill," tweeted economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. "That should tell you all you need to know."

The White House's attempt to block funds for coronavirus testing and tracing comes weeks after President Donald Trump said during a June 20 campaign rally that he ordered members of his administration to "slow the testing down," falsely blaming the surge in Covid-19 cases on increased testing capacity. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal the previous day, the president said "testing is overrated" because it "makes us look bad."

Public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have repeatedly stressed that the United States cannot hope to contain the spread of Covid-19 and reopen safely without a nationwide testing and contact tracing system in place.

State and local leaders in recent days have alerted the federal government to severe test shortages and delays as the virus continues to spread, overwhelming already-strained healthcare systems. In an appearance on MSNBC Friday, Judge Barbara Canales of Nueces County, Texas said her county and state are "in desperate need" of additional medical and testing supplies.

"The need is so great," said Canales. "I think we've lost complete control of contact tracing. There's just too many positives a day."


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Abortion Rights Groups Sue to Block Post-Roe Trigger Laws in Louisiana

"We will be fighting to restore access in Louisiana and other states for as long as we can," said one reproductive rights campaigner.

Jake Johnson ·


Poll Shows Majority Oppose Supreme Court's Attack on Fundamental Rights

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they're now concerned the court will attack marriage equality and the right to obtain contraception.

Julia Conley ·


Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·

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