Super proud of the TPM team for the original investigative reporting this week on the Trump administration preparing to bail on COVID testing sites, particularly in Texas, where the pandemic is surging.
Josh Kovensky’s initial report Tuesday was picked up and expanded upon in dozens of other stories by national, state and local news outlets. Texas’ GOP governor, both of its GOP senators and members of Congress from both parties responded to the reporting by seeking to sustain the federal support.
As you can see now, the Trump administration has partially retreated and will not bail on five of the Texas testing sites, at least not for another two weeks. The status of the remaining eight testing sites is still not clear.
The reversal comes after withering criticism of TPM and other reporters by the Trump administration and its supporters. HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo, a Trump world heavy who landed an administration gig, abruptly ended a press call earlier in the week with a tirade against reporters for covering this story.
TPM Reader JK wrote in a short time ago offering congrats to the TPM team:
This may be self-evident, but your reporting on the TX testing bailout really made a difference: the reversal. Seriously: lives will be saved. You guys should take a breath, have a beer, and take some time to let yourselves celebrate a small victory for strong investigative journalism and the power of sunlight. Thank you!
At the risk of sounding immodest, the TPM team feels pretty good!
But without taking anything away from our team, let me point out how critical your support is for what we do, including stories like this one.
First, we were alerted to this story by a reader email tipping us off to what was happening to the Texas testing sites. Josh Kovensky turned that tip into a story, but we wouldn’t have gotten the jump on everyone else without a heads up from an informed reader on the ground.
Second, your financial support allows us to carve out the time and deploy the resources we need to do stories like this. It lets us do what we do. And this is what we want to do, every day.
So keep the tips coming. If you know something, tell us. We’ll take it from there.
We quite literally can’t do this without you.