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Public Health vs. Politics: White House Scrapped Nationwide COVID-19 Testing Plan to Hurt Blue States

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As the U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 155,000, there is still no national testing program, with widespread shortages and delays hampering efforts to contain the pandemic. This continues months after President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner launched a White House task force with the goal of establishing a national testing plan. We speak to investigative reporter Katherine Eban, whose explosive Vanity Fair report chronicles Kushner's fumbling efforts and the sudden decision to abandon the project on political grounds. "The participants expected that at any moment in early April, the plan would be announced," says Eban. "It vanished into thin air."

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AMY GOODMAN: As the national coronavirus death toll surpasses 156,000 the highest by far in the world, the U.S. making up more than a quarter of global deaths on Monday, President Trump attacked top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Deborah Birx for saying that the U.S. is in a new phase as the virus spreads out of control.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX: What we're seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas. And to everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus.

AMY GOODMAN: President Trump responded Monday, tweeting, "So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combating the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!" he said. Dr. Anthony Fauci defended Dr. Birx, saying community spread is "insidious." Despite this, Trump told Axios Jonathan Swan the coronavirus is under control.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Under the circumstances

JONATHAN SWAN: It's giving them a false sense of security.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: right now I think it's under control. I'll tell you what.

JONATHAN SWAN: How? A thousand Americans are dying a day.

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