Trump favors rapid virus testing, weighs funding

President Donald Trump says he favors rapid virus tests, acknowledging that days-long delays in test results are a problem. Trump is insisting that he is working "hand-in-hand" with governors to coordinate the response to the coronavirus. (July 21)

Video Transcript

DONALD TRUMP: Well, thank you very much.

- Do you think we have a problem with testing in this country right now? And are you in favor of more money for testing?

DONALD TRUMP: We've done more testing, by far, than anybody, some of the tests, because it is massive volume, it takes longer. Others of the test, as you know, are very quick. There are five minutes and 15 minute tests. And those are frankly, the ones that I prefer.

But we're doing massive numbers. And the numbers are coming down. And as we go, as an example, there are thousands and thousands of kits being made right now which give you a 15 minute and a 5 minute test. So we'll be able to get those numbers down.

Those numbers are similar in other places. They're also doing massive numbers, numbers like nobody thought possible. But those numbers will be coming down. I agree, I think it's a good thing if we can do that.

- Were you in favor of more money for testing?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, they're going to make a presentation to me tonight and tomorrow on that. And again, we're leading the world. I think the second country at 12 millino. We're going to be over 50 million tests. Second country is India with 12 million. Then you have 7 million, 6 million, and 4 million. I think that we are doing tremendous amount of testing. But if the doctors and the professionals feel that, even though we're at a level that nobody ever dreamed possible, that they would like to do more, I'm OK with it.

- You've been saying for months that the virus would simply disappear. And now you're saying that it's likely to get worse before it gets better. If it does keep getting worse, if Americans keep dying, are you responsible for that?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, the virus will disappear. It will disappear. I think that I always like to say as, you know, either way, when you look at it, the governors are working with me. I'm working with the governor. We're working hand-in-hand. I think we're all responsible.

I view it as a team, very good relationships with the governors, very, very good relationships. I could say I'm fully responsible. But you know, one day we had a virus come in. And I closed the borders, did a lot of things that were very good. In fact, Dr. Fauci said we saved tens of thousands of lives when I closed the border. And nobody wanted to do it. I wanted to do it.

We closed the border to China. We put on the ban. We didn't want people coming in from heavily infected China. Fairly shortly thereafter, I closed the borders from Europe, coming in from Europe. Those were tremendous moves. We would have-- if it's one person it's too much, but we're at let's say 140,000. We could have double, triple, quadruple that number if we didn't. So we did a lot of things right.