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Watch: Trump And Governors Clash On Coronavirus Testing Capacity

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses reporters at the daily coronavirus briefing.
Image credit: Tasos Katopodis

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President Trump will address the nation on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, as state leaders and health experts say that testing limitations continue to slow the country’s ability to safely re-open the economy.

The White House last week issued guidelines on a three-tiered approach for states to begin easing coronavirus restrictions. But many state officials have said that they do not yet have the capacity to aggressively test for new COVID-19 cases.

Trump has been resistant to states’ demands for additional testing help, tweeting on Monday: “States, not the Federal Government, should be doing the Testing – But we will work with the Governors and get it done.”

Watch the briefing live.

The Monday coronavirus task force briefing comes after a series of tense disagreements between Trump and a number of Democratic governors last week.

Almost immediately after the administration’s three-phase plan to ease coronavirus restrictions was released, several governors openly disputed the president’s projected timeline on their ability to safely begin lifting stay-at-home orders.

On Friday, Trump engaged in a heated back-and-forth with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the week was capped off with Trump later that day openly expressing support for far-right protesters disobeying state-issued stay-at-home orders.

The administration hopes that this week will bring some bipartisan agreement on additional coronavirus relief funding, possibly including: $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion in emergency funding for hospitals, $50 billion for small-business disaster loans and $25 billion for testing.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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