March 13, 2020 / 11:02 AM / 16 days ago

Trump: coronavirus testing will soon happen on 'large scale', 'red tape' cut

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the U.S response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during an address to the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 11, 2020. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday morning that coronavirus testing in the United States will soon happen on a large scale, but did not provide any details on how that would be accomplished.

“The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!” he wrote in a tweet.

Trump also criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the U.S. organizations leading the fight against the deadly infection, for having a testing system that he said would “always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic.”

Trump did not elaborate on why the system was inadequate, but on Thursday, the top U.S. official on infectious diseases, Anthony Fauci, said people cannot get tests easily and the U.S. testing system “is not really geared to what we need right now.”

U.S. officials and lawmakers are struggling to get a sense of how many people in the country have contracted the virus, which they attribute to low testing rates.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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