Speed Reads

Blame game

Trump says he doesn't 'take responsibility at all' for lack of coronavirus testing

President Trump clearly doesn't mind shaking hands in the age of coronavirus, and he's making sure he flexes his finger-pointing muscles as well.

After attacking former President Barack Obama and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for contributing to COVID-19 coronavirus testing failures, Trump emphasized that he, the current U.S. president, bears no responsibility for the disastrous lag in testing kits being distributed across the country.

"No, I don't take responsibility at all, because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time," Trump said during a press conference discussing the pandemic. "It wasn't meant for this kind of an event, with the kind of numbers that we're talking about. What we've done is redesign it very quickly."

As few as 77 kits were administered between Sunday and Wednesday, prompting Dr. Anthony Fauci to call the botched response "a failing." During the press conference, both Trump and Fauci iterated that the current testing system was not designed for the specific needs of the new coronavirus crisis.

When prompted later by PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor over the Trump administration's 2018 shutdown of a pandemic response team, Trump responded by calling the question "nasty," saying he didn't "know anything" about the disbanding she spoke of.

Trump didn't give exact details on when better testing will be rolled out, but he said to expect an announcement Sunday night and claimed they'll have the "ability to do in the millions over a very quick period of time."