Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pushed back on President Trump putting the onus on governors to ramp up COVID-19 testing in their states to begin the process of reopening the economy, during an interview on CNN Sunday.
When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about whether he got any indication that the federal government has a coordinated plan to roll out testing and to ensure that governors know where the tests are, Schumer responded that the federal government has been “back and forth on this.”
After mentioning that Senate Democrats are seeking $30 billion for COVID-19 testing nationwide, Schumer argued that “we need the focus from the President.”
“The governors of our two states who are most impacted say they need federal help. They can’t do the testing on their own,” Schumer said, before adding that Republican and Democratic senators expressed to Trump during a call a few days ago that the number one need was for more testing and for more federal involvement in the effort. “You can’t have it state by state.”
After reiterating the need for the federal government to step up testing efforts, Schumer argued that the federal government has “not been focused enough on testing” and that he thinks that there is “huge pressure” for Trump to comply with the Senate Democrats’ $30 billion request for testing by using the Defense Production Act.
Schumer then added that there should be at least one person in charge of making sure there’s a national focus and effort on testing.
“We will not be able to get the economy going full-fledged unless we have testing,” Schumer said.
Watch Schumer’s remarks below:
Schumer: "I believe the federal government has not been focused enough on testing." pic.twitter.com/H1MCn2LaX5
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 19, 2020