Pence: "There Is Sufficient Testing Capacity Across The Country Today For Any State To Go To A Phase One Level" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Pence: "There Is Sufficient Testing Capacity Across The Country Today For Any State To Go To A Phase One Level"

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Vice President Mike Pence told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that by expanding testing capacity by using currently unused labs, any state in the country should be able to ramp up to "phase one" of the White House coronavirus elimination plan.

VICE PRES. MIKE PENCE: The president made it clear to us that we were to make sure the hospitals in impacted areas had the resources and the equipment that they needed to be able to save as many lives as possible. And I have to tell you that tens of millions of personal protective equipment that we've coordinated for delivery around the country, especially in areas most impacted and the fact that ventilators have been delivered in areas across the country so that no American who needed a ventilator has ever been denied a ventilator. We're actually increasing the stockpile today.

But testing has been a focus of ours as well, from very beginning. And it's the reason why the president, early on, brought in this vast array of commercial labs that took us from 80,000 tests one month ago to now four million tests as of yesterday.

And as we'll make clear again to governors tomorrow in our weekly conference call, we look forward to continuing to partner with governors all across the country as we continue to scale testing. Because we really believe that, while we're doing 150,000 tests a day now, that if states around the country will activate all of the laboratories that are available in their states, we could more than double that overnight and literally be doing hundreds of thousands of more tests per day in a very short period of time.

But, Chuck, just so we're very clear, when the president outlined his guidelines for opening up America, we laid out a plan for both -- for when and how we thought it was best according to our best scientists and advisors for states to be able to responsibly and safely reopen. And we believe today as Dr. Birx has said, as Dr. Fauci and others have said, is that there is a sufficient capacity of testing across the country today for any state in America to go to a phase one level which contemplates testing people that have symptoms of the coronavirus. And also doing the kind of monitoring of vulnerable populations in our cities, in our nursing homes that we ought to be watching very carefully for outbreaks of the coronavirus.

But we believe working with the governors, as we'll continue to partner with them, that we can activate labs around the country and that states today, if the governor so chooses, have sufficient testing to be able to move into the testing contemplated in phase one.



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