The number of tests administered is only in the thousands nationally.
Joe Biden on Thursday called for widespread national coronavirus testing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, noting the lack of tests administered so far was a "colossal" failure.
Donald Trump's campaign press secretary responded immediately to that criticism by claiming incorrectly that the former vice president was a liar.
In an address on his plan to combat COVID-19, which is caused by a new strain of coronavirus, Biden noted the Trump administration's struggle to get people people tested, urging a daily White House report of how many tests have been ordered, completed, and were returned positive.
"The administration's failure on testing is colossal," Biden said. "By next week, the number of tests should be in the millions, not the thousands."
Trump 2020 national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to those comments Thursday afternoon.
"Has anyone told Joe that 1 million tests have already been distributed, with 4 million distributed by the end of the week?" she tweeted.
Biden, however, was not incorrect in his statements. The former vice president and current Democratic presidential frontrunner appeared to be referring to the number of tests processed thus far, not the number of swab kits distributed.
According to the administration's own numbers, Biden was correct to say the number of tests processed so far is only in the thousands.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday that it and other public health laboratories had tested 11,079 specimens dating back to Jan. 18. In a congressional briefing this week, federal public health officials confirmed this number.
In South Korea, by comparison, more than 10,000 tests are being conducted daily.
Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, conceded on Thursday that this was a "failing."
"It is a failing. Let's admit it," he said during a House Oversight Committee hearing. "... The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we are not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we are not."
Additionally, a lack of supplies could make it impossible to read some of the tests. On Tuesday, STAT News reported that laboratories are running out of the reagent chemicals needed to isolate the virus' RNA.
Despite bipartisan criticism of the lack of testing, Trump has falsely insisted that anyone who needs a test can get one and that they have been "perfect" just like his communications with Ukraine's president, for which he was impeached in December.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.