US President Donald Trump announced on Monday an additional $11 billion in aid to US states, territories and tribal governments to support additional COVID-19 testing.
While Trump told reporters at the White House the aid amount would be just $1 billion, this was apparently a mistake, as later graphics shown in the press conference showed $11 billion, just as White House officials had told reporters on a conference call earlier in the day.
The money was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Trump signed into law on March 27.
“This major investment will ensure that America continues to conduct more tests than any country by far,” Trump said.
Trump noted the US had performed 9 million tests for the novel coronavirus thus far, both more tests absolutely and per capita than any other country. He said that 300,000 tests are being performed daily – a doubling of testing capacity in just the last few weeks.
The president also mentioned a new antigen test authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week for use in point-of-care facilities such as urgent care centers and hospitals.
“One of the main advantages of an antigen test is the speed of the test, which can provide results in minutes. However, antigen tests may not detect all active infections, as they do not work the same way as a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test,” the FDA said on Friday. “[P]ositive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negatives, so negative results do not rule out infection.”
Trump Rejects Renegotiating China Trade Deal
“No, not at all. Not even a little bit,” Trump told a reporter who asked if the White House was considering renegotiating the Phase 1 trade deal penned with Beijing in January. “We signed a deal … China has been taking advantage of the United States for many many years …. No, I’m not interested in that. Let’s see if they live up to the deal that they signed.”