What's the Truth on the Coronavirus Testing?

Thom plus logo After it was widely reported that Tom Hanks and his wife were able to simply walk into a clinic in Australia with the symptoms of a common cold and instantly get a coronavirus test - which was positive - Americans are beginning to ask out loud, "Why can't we get tested?"

According to President Obama's Ebola Czar (last night on Rachel Maddow's show), Ron Klain, Trump "privatized" the testing here in the United States. Instead of taking the World Health Organization test kits which are cheap and widely available all over the planet, and having them distributed across the country back in December, or January, or February when we knew this disease was spreading in the United States, Klain said that Trump has outsourced the testing to two big American companies, Quest and Labcorp.

Trump's head of HHS, Alex Azar, is the guy who doubled the price of insulin when he was CEO of Eli Lily company. Do he and Trump owns stock in these testing companies? Why are we refusing to accept the WHO test that the entire rest of the world is using? What the hell is going on here?

Plus - I'm asking today - Is this the official end of the Trump presidency?



Legend 3 years 12 weeks ago

These are also companies that make a fortune on Drug Testing.

Legend 3 years 12 weeks ago


You can buy a test kit on Ebay for $150. The less people tested the less that are added to the statistics as positive. Trump was willing to leave that ship at sea because he did not want to raise the statictics. They will minimize testing to keep the statistics down.

We are now in uncharted territory. All sports are shut down. Disneyland is shut down. Broadway is shut down. Airlines are all but shut down. Massive layoffs will begin very soon and snowball. Dow closed at 21200. Last time it was that low was May 1 2017. Justin Trudeau is Quarentined. Trump dined with a Brazilian Government rep that tested positve.

tomcalwriter1's picture
tomcalwriter1 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'm sorry to go off topic, Thom, but I would like to know if you are investigating the rampant and egregious Election Fraud being perpetrated by the Democratic Primary in the stealing the nomination from Sanders. Somehow it needs to be stopped.

Legend 3 years 12 weeks ago

January 22: Trump on Coronavirus “We have it totally under control”!

January 24: Trump on Coronavirus “It will all work out well”!

January 30: Trump on Coronavirus “We have it very well under control, and I think its going to have a very good ending. So that I can assure you”!

February 2: Trump on Coronavirus “Well, we pretty much shut it down coming in from China, but we did shut it down!” No clue whatsoever of the severity of what’s coming.

February 10: On Fox News Trump says without evidence that the coronavirus "dies with the hotter weather” "You know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat

February 24: Trump tweeted another baselessly claims: "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

February 25: Trump falsely claims : you may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re ALL getting better! Obviously he doesn’t care for those who died from it. (Like captured soldiers)

February 26: Trump wrongly says the coronavirus "is a flu"

February 26: Trump baselessly predicts the number of US cases is "going very substantially down" to "close to zero”

February 26: Trump wrongly says the flu death rate is "much higher" than Dr. Sanjay Gupta said. Coronavirus has 10X death rate compared to flu. If 60K die from flu then 600K will die from Coronavirus!

February 27: Trump baselessly said: "It's going to disappear. One day -- it's like a miracle -- it will disappear.

February 28: Trump said at a rally: Coronavirus is a democratic” Hoax”. No, it was a warning he did not listen to as usual. It’s always all about him.

March 2: Trump falsely claims "nobody knew" the number of US flu deaths, nope he’s the only one that doesn’t know as usual.

March 2: Trump says a vaccine is coming "relatively soon” Trump did not mention that CDC had told him earlier that day that a vaccine was "a year to a year and a half" away.

March 5: Trump wrongly claims the virus only hit the US "three weeks ago” Trump was informed of a confirmed case on January 21(6 weeks prior). He lied.

March 5: World Health Organization (WHO) based on data collected around the world stated the global mortality rate for coronavirus at 3.4%. Trump says :”I think the 3.4 % is really a false number, this is just my “Hunch”! (Hunch over Facts in Trumps world)

March 6: As the number of cases and deaths in Italy rises, Trump says
“I hear the numbers getting much better in Italy” Another Lie.

March 6: Trump falsely claims anybody can get tested if they want.That wasn't true. There were an insufficient number of tests available, as Pence said the day prior, and Americans could not get tested simply because they wanted to get tested. "You may not get a test unless a doctor or public health official prescribes a test,"

March 6: Trump baselessly muses that "maybe" the coronavirus improved US jobs numbers, Trump never thinks in terms of people and families losing lives… just numbers to boost his ego.

March 11: Trump TV speech wrongly states Insurance companies will pay for patients Coronavirus treatment. Next day Insurance Coalition corrected Trump and said they will pay ONLY for Co-payments ,NOT Treatment. Big Difference!

March 11: Trump TV speech wrongly states his Travel Ban to Europe will “apply to the tremendous amount of trade and large”. Next day white House Officials corrected Trump misinformation and said” Travel ban will NOT include trade!”. Trumps can’t even read a Teleprompter correctly.

March 11: Trump’s Ban to Europe does NOT include Britain and Scotland, were there are more confirmed coronavirus cases than in some European countries.
Trump owns Golf Resorts in Britain and Scotland, I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

SueN's picture
SueN 3 years 12 weeks ago

It's certainly been discussed on the show, I would hope experienced investigators like Greg Palast are looking into it.

Worn out door knobs's picture
Worn out door knobs 3 years 11 weeks ago

Reply to Legend:

In response to President Trumps statement that insurance companies will pay for Coronavirus treatment, (it's called leadership) Atena issued the following statement. Others will follow.

Effective immediately, Aetna members will have access to the following resources:

Aetna will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be done in any approved laboratory location. Aetna will waive the member costs associated with diagnostic testing at any authorized location


For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. Cost sharing will be waived for all virtual visits through Aetna-covered Teladoc offerings and in-network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing).

Through Aetna's Healing Better program, members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a care package containing CVS over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms. The package will also include personal and household cleaning supplies to help keep others in the home protected from potential exposure. Through existing care management programs, Aetna will proactively reach out to members most at-risk for COVID-19. Care managers will walk members through what they can do to protect themselves, where to get information on the virus, and where to go to get tested.

CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

Aetna will now offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions to members where allowable by law at any pharmacy during this crisis.

Aetna will waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members where allowable by law.

CVS Health/Aetna is implementing the following programs to educate members about COVID-19 and help address any associated anxiety and stress:

Opening Crisis Response Aetna members who may be experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.

Expanding 24x7 access to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line for all Aetna members.

Anyone presenting symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.

Legend 3 years 11 weeks ago

Trump said "Trump TV speech wrongly states Insurance companies will pay for patients Coronavirus treatment". That indicates coverage for treatment. Treatment may include hospitalization, isolation, ventilator etc. Treatment will be very expensive. What you indicate (and if you are a senior could mean death) is test (a nasel swab), telecalls, mail you some medicine (nothing has been proven to work) and stay at home.

Sci's picture
Sci 3 years 11 weeks ago

February 4, 2020 - The FDA issues an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for analysis by the CDC using the diagnostic panel to test samples collected from individuals meeting the CDC's criteria for testing.

February 29, 2020 - the FDA issues an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a guiidance policy and the CDC grants the "right of reference to any entity seeking an FDA EUA" and makes 2 templates available: a testing template and a test kit manufacture template.

March 13, 2020 - The FDA issues two EUAs: one to Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. to develop test kits to be analyzed on Roche's proprietary diagnostic units; and another to Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. for their combo test kit.

I looked at the WHO website. It is transparent to the public. I didn't need to login to see their guidance documents that describe "who", "what", "when", and "how" and have links to all complete source materials. The earliest WHO document I saw on their COVID-19 page was dated 5 January 2020. The guidance documents I reviewed were well written by professionals.

Meanwhile, back at the swamp...

Trump has placed people like himself (completely unqualified) in charge of Executive Branch departments whose function is critical to our health and safety. Placing Pence in charge of the response, and (at least initially) forcing scientists to clear all communications through (wait for it) Steven Miller's wife - was enough to make you really believe that the inmates are running the asylum.

It was only out of spite that Trump dismantled the interdisciplinary task force designed to respond to global outbreaks of infectious diseases set up by Obama. It wasn't even a matter of wanting his own person/people in place - he simply gutted it and left the positions unfilled. The cut (a little under 20%) to the CDC's budget was probably made because he has no idea what the CDC does and since he didn't know, he didn't care.

Then adding hubris to stupidity, he rejected the WHO's test kits (along with the WHO supporting infrastructure described above), and tasks a resource-deprived CDC with developing a test kit. No wonder they were shipped without reagents! Those are the kind of mistakes that are made when you're forced to work under those conditions.

Would anyone be surprised if we were to learn next week, next month or even next year that Trump does in fact own shares or has some personal connection to Roche and/or Fischer Scientific? What's worse: will anyone be surprised if upon learning that such a thing was true, that there were absolutely no consequences for Donald Trump?

The Democrats have confirmed every judge, passed the military budget, and of coure his disastrous tax cut. They may oppose Trump, but they don't oppose his policies, just his "style".

The Democratic Party leadership is so attached to the benefits its garnered since turning its collective back on the legacy of FDR and abandoning its place as the champion of the working man to grovel shamelessly before their new overlords of the donor class, that they want nothing more than to keep the party going.

Apparently the DNC is hell-bent on annointing Joe Biden. The Democratic Party must believe that this nation needs a Democrat who has already made 4 attempts to cut Social Security; a Democrat who supported the USA-PATRIOT ACT; a Democrat who sacrificed financial relief for working people to satisfy credit card companies although it was well known that most of their debt was from medical bills; a Democrat so lacking in compassion he authored a crime bill that exploded the prison population - mostly for non-violent drug crimes; a Democrat who supported the Iraq war; a Democrat who doesn't belive that a woman' s body is her own; a Democrat who has said he will veto Medicare for All should it pass the House and the Senate and be presented to him for signature. A Democrat who opposed school desegragation.

Joe Biden may have apologized to Anita Hill, but just a few days ago while telling a union worker he was full of sh*t, he told his female assistant to "Shush!" when she was doing her job trying to help him keep his foot out of this mouth. Joe Biden when asked about the exchange with the union worker responded that he didn't know why Sanders was with Trump.

Don't forget it was Joe Biden: a Democrat who, upon announcing his candidacy, went to the members of the donor class and reassured them that "nothing would change". To reinforce the point, apparently Mr. Biden is considering populating the swamp that is Washington D.C. with alligators of his own: Jamie Dimon and other members in good standing of the 1% are allegedly being viewed as potential cabinet picks. So basically, the only thing that would change is that Biden isn't on twitter, is that it? Also: he doesn't lie quite as frequently as Donald Trump.

Granted, I don't think Biden would have botched the COVID-19 response as badly as Trump has done - then again, since he opposes Medicare for All, how many people would get tested and if ill, would get treatment when so many are uninsured or underinsured? The price could be steep.

I just don't think that 99% of the country can afford to carry the 1% on their backs anymore.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO