In addition to Maryland, the group includes Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
The states are trying to source the rapid antigen tests from two manufacturers, and are working with the Rockefeller Foundation to form a plan around not just getting the tests but distributing them, using testing as it should be used: to help prevent outbreaks before they get started in places where people are in close proximity. That means nursing homes, which were the sites of so many deaths during the spring. It also means schools—adequate, fast testing could be the key to safely reopening schools.
Despite Giroir’s apparent frustration that the Trump administration isn’t getting credit for “everything that can possibly be done [having] been done,” the U.S. is currently conducting about 5 million tests per week when experts say 30 million tests per week are needed to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control.
The governors involved express serious frustration with the lack of support they’ve gotten from the federal government. “We’ve been asked as governors to fight a biological war without supplies,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, told Politico. “The administration made it very clear that states were on their own,” according to Hogan.
The federal government has failed on purpose because Donald Trump, having failed in the early months of the pandemic, now doesn’t want the testing needed, thinking it will show his failure. Which it would, in a sense, but the failure is already completely public and testing is also the way to lay the groundwork for success. That’s not something Trump can imagine, apparently. He’d rather keep failing by refusing to try than be seen failing as he tries to save lives.