Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Monday railed against COVID-19 testing issues as the Trump administration continues blaming the surge of coronavirus cases nationwide on increased testing.
In an op-ed published on CNBC that focuses on Congress’ next coronavirus stimulus bill, Mulvaney argued that “it may be too soon” to conclude that another massive stimulus package is needed but that lawmakers “need to realize that the current economic crisis is public-health driven.”
Mulvaney added that any stimulus package “should be directed at the root cause of our recession: dealing with Covid” before going on to lament the “testing problem” in the country. The former White House official claimed that his children recently dealt with coronavirus testing difficulties that are “simply inexcusable.”
“I know it isn’t popular to talk about in some Republican circles, but we still have a testing problem in this country,” Mulvaney wrote. “My son was tested recently; we had to wait 5 to 7 days for results. My daughter wanted to get tested before visiting her grandparents, but was told she didn’t qualify. That is simply inexcusable at this point in the pandemic.”
The op-ed written by Mulvaney — who previously said in May that the country “overreacted a little bit” to the COVID-19 pandemic regarding the economic toll caused by coronavirus-related restrictions — comes amid President Trump’s ongoing crusade against testing. He’s been baselessly blaming the spikes in coronavirus cases on increased testing, while touting the quality of American testing for COVID-19. TPM broke the story last month that the federal government was planning to roll back its support of testing sites in five states, just days after Trump bragged about doing so in front of supporters at a rally.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had insisted Trump’s remark was “made in jest,” but a few days after the testing story broke, the administration reversed course following bipartisan outrage.
Last week, Trump told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity that the country’s “test everybody” approach has “created” coronavirus hotspots in states such as Florida and Texas.