The White House is working to expand “high volume testing” for all Americans trying to access COVID-19 tests, said Vice President Mike Pence on CBS ‘This Morning’ Thursday. Further, Pence said that his team is working to make “hundreds of thousands of more tests” available to patients in the United States.
“I spoke with Governor Cuomo last night in connection with some guidance that CDC just issued to New York and Washington State and California,” said Pence. “We’ve put out very, very strong recommendations for social distancing, for large gatherings, for schools. We’re working in very close cooperation with the State of New York.”
The Vice President is in charge of the White House's coronavirus taskforce. pic.twitter.com/iaWqMbK0D0
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 12, 2020
Moreover, Pence said “the governor and I have also talked about the fact that we are working for the high volume testing to be approved.”
“The state lab in New York State is already able to do that,” he added. “As the governor and I discussed earlier this week, we’re working to expand that to other state labs. And the American people can be confident, we are going to continue to work in every way to clear out, as the President said, any red tape, any barriers to testing that might’ve existed at the FDA, and make it possible for state labs, university hospitals, as well as these commercial laboratories.”
We updated our data on total #coronavirus testing capacity in U.S. Remember, our figures for total capacity do not reflect the actual number of tests being performed, but the number of patients who could potentially be screened daily if every lab were testing at maximum capacity https://t.co/pCLASJARkN
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 12, 2020
It is currently up to the doctor to determine if a patient should be tested for the virus, who is advised to make the decision based on “local epidemiology” and the “clinical course” of the patient’s illness, according to the CDC.
There are currently 1,323 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the U.S. This reporter requested comment from the CDC as to how many tests are available in the U.S. and will update the story if there is a response.