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Trump claims 'detrimental' Obama-era rule slowed coronavirus testing

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 4, 2020 - Duration: 00:37s

Trump claims 'detrimental' Obama-era rule slowed coronavirus testing

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that a rule created under the Obama administration giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) jurisdiction over disease testing impaired the government's ability to ramp up test kits for coronavirus cases.

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Trump claims 'detrimental' Obama-era rule slowed coronavirus testing

"The Obama Administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we're doing," Trump said.

"And we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion." Trump made the remarks at a White House meeting with representatives of airlines now facing with passenger fears over the illness dubbed COVID-19.

"The last administration asserted FDA jurisdiction over testing," Vice President Mike Pence added.

"The president changed that on Saturday." The administration is working to allow laboratories to develop their own coronavirus tests without seeking regulatory approval first, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Fox News, Azar said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was shipping enough tests to allow for 75,000 tests this week, and that the CDC's private contractor was also shipping "over a million testing capability to hospitals and labs and others who want that."

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