Five things to know about where the US stands on COVID-19 tests

April 28, 2020, The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel - Joshua Sharfstein, a former Food and Drug Administration official and a vice dean at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the federal government has been shirking its responsibilities. “This is a once in a century challenge, but the federal government has not embraced its role,” Sharfstein said. “States and the labs themselves are having issues, and the failure of federal leaders is being felt.” Scott Becker, CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, said he agrees states should be in charge of their testing strategies, but the federal government still has an important role. “The states are responsible for how the strategy will work in their state, but that is dependent upon an expanded and consistent supply chain, and that is really where the federal government comes in,” Becker said. “Sometimes it’s really just a phone call, but sometimes it’s the weight of the government coming in and expanding whatever is necessary.” But the Trump administration’s blueprint on Monday said the federal government should only be a “supplier of last resort.”

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