On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thoroughly dismissed the charges that both President Trump and CDC were responsible for the delayed testing of COVID-19, alleging it resulted from a “technical glitch” out ofthe president’s control.
“It was a complicated series of multiple things that conflated that just, you know, went the wrong way. One of them was a technical glitch that slowed things down in the beginning. Nobody’s fault. There weren’t any bad guys there. It just happened,” Fauci told Hugh Hewitt on “The Hugh Hewitt” show.
“Was the glitch or anything about the production of the test President Trump’s fault?” Hewitt asked, as reported by The Hill. “Or actually, let me put it more broadly, would every president have run into the same problem?”
“Oh, absolutely,” Fauci replied. “This has nothing to do with anybody’s fault, certainly not the president’s fault.”
The Trump administration has been severely criticized for the low number of tests being performed on COVID-19. Opponents of the president, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, have alleged that the administration rejected testing kits from the World Health Organization (W.H.O). During a press conference on Tuesday, administration health officials denied refusing other tests.
“No one ever offered a test that we refused,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services. “This was a research-grade test that was not approved, not submitted to the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] … there was a small number that we have greatly surpassed in a very short period of time.”
Deborah Birx, a State Department official coordinating the White House coronavirus task force, told reporters that the United States developed a high-quality test that would not result in false positives or negatives.
“We were adamant about having a high-quality test based on our commercial vendors,” Birx said. “Over the next few months you’ll begin to see that other tests that were utilized around the world were not of the same quality, resulting in false positives and potentially false negatives.”
According to The Hill, the United States had been developing its own test kit around the same time that the W.H.O created its own. Here’s how events unfolded:
The WHO test, which adopted a German test as its model, was developed soon after Chinese researchers publicly posted the genome of the coronavirus in January. It shipped millions of tests to countries around the world, but generally only those without the capability to develop their own.
The U.S. developed its own test around the same time, but manufacturing and quality control issues soon set it well behind the WHO.
CDC officials acknowledged that one of the three components of the initial test were faulty, but it took weeks before the agency approved a workaround.
During the press conference, President Trump said he assumed that Joe Biden would apologize for having “made a mistake” at the debate on Sunday night when he alleged that the Trump administration refused the developed test kits from the W.H.O.
“So number one, nothing was offered, number two, it was a bad test. Otherwise, it was wonderful,” Trump said.
“I assume he’ll apologize,” Trump added, regarding Biden.