National Review writer Michael Brendan Dougherty this week called out President Donald Trump for pushing what he describes as “vaporware” solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dougherty starts by detailing how Trump is still resisting building the kind of test-and-trace operation that countries such as Germany and South Korea have used to decrease deaths and partially reopen their economies.
“We’ve gotten lots of advertising and an implicit promise of a world-class operation to fight the disease,” he writes. “But it doesn’t exist yet and it’s becoming clearer that the White House is spinning its wheels, looking for something — anything — to do other than solving the crisis at hand.”
He then zeroes in on Trump’s Rose Garden press event in late March in which he brought a group of CEOs to the White House and promised the rapid roll out of drive-through testing sites.
“By the end of April, Google’s health-care oriented company, Verily, had launched a pilot website covering only the Bay Area,” he writes. “As May begins, the promised testing centers exist in fewer than a dozen of the retailers Trump touted. CVS has rapid testing in five states, with plans to expand. Walgreens has drive-through testing operations in eight states. Both plan to expand their testing capacity, but they won’t be able to meet demand until well after many Americans emerge from lockdown — and it won’t make too big a difference so long as CDC guidelines on who can get tested remain relatively strict.”