Months after COVID-19 first started wreaking havoc on the nation’s health and economy, the Trump administration is still failing to properly allocate funds to fight the pandemic against the advice of experts. The administration reportedly has $9 billion meant to bulk up the country’s COVID-19 testing regime sitting unused due to the advice of Trump’s “favorite” controversial White House coronavirus task force advisor, Scott Atlas.
Billions Unspent For COVID-19 Testing Regime
“The president would rather heed the advice of a controversial advisor than the widespread warnings of scientists and public health experts,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Congress allocated these funds to help protect people’s health, not to sit in the administration’s coffer. Trump and his administration should ensure these dollars are used for their intended purpose immediately.”
Atlas has faced criticism from inside the administration and out, with CDC Director Robert Redfield even saying that “everything he says is false.”
As the $9 billion sits unused, the pandemic situation is getting more dire: according Johns Hopkins, deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 could triple if the virus is not contained, with people of color at particularly high risk of infection. But despite long-held conviction by scientists and public health professionals that widespread, accessible testing is key to curbing the virus’ spread, the president is opting to sit on the windfall of funds.
Trump is 'sitting' on $9 billion earmarked for COVID-19 testing because of a controversial advisor, report says
John Haltiwanger, October 19, 2020
- The Trump administration has not spent $9 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing because of opposition from Scott Atlas, an advisor on the White House coronavirus task force, The Washington Post reported.
- Atlas is not an infectious-disease expert and has emerged as an influential and controversial advisor on the task force as he's promoted ideas in line with Trump's approach to the pandemic.
- "We're demanding that the feds release ... those dollars," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday, urging the Trump administration to commit to a "robust testing and tracing program."
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