President Trump accused former President Barack Obama of making a “detrimental” decision during his time in office that led to the country’s short supply of test kits for the novel coronavirus. “The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion,” the president said at the White House on Wednesday. “That was a decision we disagreed with—I don’t think we would have made it—but for some reason it was made but we’ve undone that decision.”
Trump referred questions about his comments to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield who said that private labs were previously allowed to conduct clinical tests, but noted that “in the previous administration that became regulated. For someone to do that they had to file with the FDA.” The Trump administration, which has been heavily criticized for its unprepared approach to fighting a domestic outbreak, claimed that it lifted the Obama-era regulation by permitting local labs over the weekend to create their own tests.