Kushner challenges Michigan governor’s claim about state’s coronavirus testing capability



“We have had several discussions with Michigan officials where they relayed the ambitious goal to perform 450,000 tests in May,” Kushner said in an emailed statement to CNN. “(The Federal Emergency Management Agency) and (Department of Health and Human Services) have outlined a pathway to fully supply their request. We are rooting for Governor Whitmer to achieve the ambitious goal she has set and will work with her to get there.”

Earlier Sunday, Whitmer was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” about comments Kushner recently made to The Washington Post that “the biggest thing holding us back is not supplies or capacity. It’s the states’ ability to collect more samples.”

“That’s not true in Michigan,” Whitmer said, adding that many governors “are still looking to get swabs and reagents and additional test kits. And so we have never been able to get to full capacity because we are missing things in the supply chain.”

“And that’s part of why I think so many of us on both sides of the aisle have really called on more of a national strategy on these fronts,” she said.

Whitmer added that the US “should be doing 1% to 2% of our population a week — we are far short of that” and “the supply chain is one of those factors.”

CNN has reached out to Whitmer’s office regarding Kushner’s comments.

Coronavirus testing has been a key issue during the crisis, with many state and local leaders saying the US needs to increase testing to properly determine timelines for reopening the country. Last month, Whitmer extended the state’s stay-at-home order — one of the strictest in the country — until at least May 15.

A senior Trump administration official told CNN on Sunday that the administration has had two “calls over the last week with Michigan and they relayed that their target for May is to perform 450,000 tests which is 3.7 times their cumulative number of tests performed through last week.”

The official said Michigan was being sent “450,000 additional swabs and 337,500 transport media and collection tubes” for May.



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