Trump promises coronavirus testing soon on 'very large-scale basis'

President Trump said Friday morning that testing for coronavirus will happen on a “very large scale,” while taking a shot at the former administration’s response to the swine flu.

“The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!” Trump wrote in a tweet.

He accused former President Barack Obama of making changes "that only complicated things further … Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now.”

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Trump, however, did not provide details on the changes to the testing, which has come under scrutiny since the outbreak has spread in the U.S.

"The system is not really geared to what we need right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, said on Thursday. “That is a failing. It is a failing, let’s admit it.”

The effort initially was hobbled by delays in getting testing kits out to public health labs, but the stumbles have continued, leading scientists to conclude that the virus has taken root in more places than government officials say.

U.S. health officials, for example, promised nearly a month ago to tap into a national network of labs that monitor for flu. That system is just getting started.

Large-scale testing is a critical part of tracking the spread of infectious diseases and allocating resources for treatment. The lack of comprehensive figures means U.S. health providers could quickly be overwhelmed by undetected cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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