OPINION: Thirteen test sites for 330 million people.

ABOVE: From tiburi on Pixabay (license)

A letter to the editor by Ciarrai Campbell of Mt. Holly, NJ

Donald Trump and his administration seem to be purposely trying to bungle their pandemic response in every possible way. First they were slow to set up testing sites, now they are discontinuing them altogether.

When this virus hit with a vengeance, other countries showed that widespread testing was the best way to contain and control it. The Trump response? To tell states they were on their own, and to reluctantly set up thirteen federally funded test sites.

Thirteen test sites for 330 million people.

And these thirteen sites were only in five states – seven of them in GOP-held Texas.

When NJ was in the throes of the pandemic, when it seemed poised to sweep us from north to south Jersey, Congressman Andy Kim called FEMA for another site in south Jersey. FEMA said the White House told them “No” to more sites.

The White House told FEMA to abandon Americans in the midst of a pandemic.

And now the funding for those thirteen test sites – some based in NJ – will run out on June 30, leaving our citizens to scramble to find testing and leaving our state to shoulder the financial burden of testing.

The Trump administration is somehow trying to sell shutting down the sites as an effort to “broaden community testing.” How does one broaden testing by closing test sites?

But we don’t need to be baffled by this move or the motivation behind it. Trump himself told us he wants to slow down testing to make the numbers fall – and make himself look good. “With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!”

And if you don’t write death certificates, then those who are dying from this pandemic will still be alive.

The Trump administration cares nothing for the health and well-being of the American people. They are perfectly content to let the virus rip undetected through our communities while Trump and his cronies in the White House get tested every day.

Remember in November.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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