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Trump Seems to Blame Coronavirus Testing on the Obama Administration

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During a briefing with the press in the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump seemed to blame the issues with testing the coronavirus on the Obama administration.

Trump told reporters, “The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.”

He continued, “That was a decision that we disagreed with, I don’t think we would have made it but for some reason, it was made but we’ve undone that decision.”

Moments later, a reporter asked Trump what Obama-era rule they were talking about.

Vice President Mike Pence — who Trump has put in charge of a coronavirus task force — responded:

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“The last administration asserted FDA jurisdiction over testing, and the development of tests like this. The president changed that on Saturday … the states now have the ability to actually conduct the coronavirus test in state labs, university laboratories and that’s because of the change the president authorized.”

See their remarks below:

As The New York Times notes, there was a regulation under the Obama administration that closely monitored how state and private companies could implement testing that is not approved by the FDA.

Obama did not respond to the president’s remarks but he did address the coronavirus in a tweet on Wednesday, writing, “Protect yourself and your community from coronavirus with common sense precautions: wash your hands, stay home when sick and listen to the CDC and local health authorities.”

“Save the masks for health care workers,” he added. “Let’s stay calm, listen to the experts and follow the science.”

There has been a widespread frustration over the lack of coronavirus tests available but the Trump administration promised that they will have one million tests ready in the next few days.

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