• The Trump administration submitted its new coronavirus testing strategy to Congress
  • The plan sets the responsibility of acquiring the tests to the states, not the government
  • Health experts said the plan is comparable to "The Hunger Games" as states compete for supplies

President Donald Trump’s administration submitted a new coronavirus testing strategy to the Congress on Sunday that essentially leaves the responsibility to the states and not the federal government.

The 81-page document outlined the administration's plan to purchase 100 million swabs for coronavirus testing, which will be distributed across the states. It also underscored states must have tested 2% of the population in May and June. However, the rest of the planning, acquisition of test kits, and the logistics of carrying out these tests will be up to the states.

The plan has been compared to the dystopian science fiction story "The Hunger Games" by the Association of Public Health Laboratories director Scott Becker.

According to the New York Times, Becker and other public health experts, along with Democrats, questioned the strategy that will have states competing for test supplies. The acquisition of test kits will also entail both national and international supply chains, which some states will not be able to negotiate.

“That’s our biggest question, that’s out biggest concern, is the robustness of the supply chain, which is critical,” the health expert said. “You can’t leave it up to the states to do it for themselves. This is not the Hunger Games.”

To be able to stop virus spread, the U.S. will have to ramp up coronavirus testings. Public Domain

The Department of Health and Human Services drafted the testing strategic plan after Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law on April 24. The Democrats have been expecting and pushing the administration to come up with a national strategy but the Republicans believe that this is the individual states' responsibility.

"This disappointing report confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states,” a joint statement from the Democrats in Congress read after receiving a copy of the plan. "In this document, the Trump administration again attempts to paint a rosy picture about testing while experts continue to warn the country is far short of what we need.”

Health experts also said the target to test 300,000 people in America per day is "absurd." To stop the spread of the virus, the United States needs 900,000 tests per day. The administration is aiming for a 10% positivity rate which will only mitigate, not stop, coronavirus.