‘The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place at a much more accurate and rapid fashion. That was a decision we disagreed with. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason it was made. But we’ve undone that decision.’
That’s President Donald Trump deflecting the criticism his administration has been facing over its response to the coronavirus.
The comments were made during a meeting with airline executives at the White House on Wednesday. Here’s a clip:
According to the New York Times, Trump was referring to a regulation that limited the ability of laboratories run by states, universities and private companies to conduct screenings not approved by the FDA. Now, those labs are allowed to use tests they independently developed.
“It’s really very, very important,” CDC director Robert Redfield said at the White House event. “It’s what’s changed the availability of testing overnight.”
Here’s Vice President Mike Pence’s explanation:
Still, Trump’s deflection came under fire from his critics.
But CNN, quoting an aide to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, reported that while the Obama administration had proposed stricter test oversight, no changes were ever actually approved.
Obama didn’t immediately respond to the accusation, but he did chime in on Twitter about how to navigate the coronavirus outbreak: