But the largest share of the responsibility to ramp up testing remains on the states themselves.
“State plans must establish a robust testing program that ensures adequacy of Covid-19 testing, including tests for contact tracing, and surveillance of asymptomatic persons to determine community spread. States must assure provisions are in place to meet future surge capacity testing needs including POC or other rapid result testing for local outbreaks,” said the 81-page report, called the Covid-19 Strategic Testing Plan.
“With support from the federal government to ensure states are meeting goals, the state plans for testing will advance the safe opening of America,” the newly reported plan says.
In the report, the administration recommends the states “have an objective of testing a minimum of 2% of their population in May and June, pending additional new data on infections and impact of reducing mitigation.”
The report was submitted to four congressional committees Sunday night per a deadline set by lawmakers for the national testing strategy. It was swiftly rejected by top Democrats, who accused the administration of painting a “rosy picture.”
“The Trump administration still does not take any responsibility for ramping up our nation’s testing capacity, instead pushing the burden onto the states — forcing states to compete with each other to procure vital supplies to administer tests from the private market,” said the statement, issued by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, and Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.
“To reopen our economy safely, we need testing to be free, accurate, reliable and accompanied by tools like contact tracing so we can slow the spread of the virus and prevent outbreaks,” the Democrats said.
In a call last week with the nation’s governors, FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor said his agency had shipped swabs and viral transport media to every state and was planning to ship another 12.9 million swabs to states in June.
Adm. Brett Giroir, the administration’s testing czar, suggested in that call that the administration “may not get to” that 12.9 million swab goal by the end of the month but was recording over 400,000 tests per day as of May 17. Over the first few weeks of the program, Giroir acknowledged, swabs and viral transport media will not be “wrapped with a bow on them,” but said “this will evolve as more supplies become available.”
CNN’s Noah Broder and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.