President Donald Trump falsely claimed that it was former President Barack Obama’s fault that Trump’s administration had the worst rollout of coronavirus testing of any developed nation.
"For decades the [CDC] looked at, and studied, its testing system, but did nothing about it. It would always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never happen, they hoped," Trump tweeted on Friday.
"President Obama made changes that only complicated things further,” he falsely claimed. “Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now. The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!"
Trump also tried to blame former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.
“Sleepy Joe Biden was in charge of the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic which killed thousands of people,” tweeted. “The response was one of the worst on record. Our response is one of the best, with fast action of border closings & a 78% Approval Rating, the highest on record. His was lowest!”
Trump is wrong:
Trump previously tried to blame the lack of testing, which the top NIH expert called a “failing,” on a policy changing how the FDA approves tests by the Obama administration.
But this policy was never enacted.
“It’s not true,” Washington University Prof. Rachel Sachs told FactCheck.com. “The Obama administration did attempt to impose a risk-based system of regulation on laboratory developed tests, or LDTs, and introduced draft guidance in 2014. But that guidance was never finalized, and was withdrawn after Trump won the election in 2016.”
In fact, Obama declared a public health emergency when there were just 20 cases of H1N1 in the country, compared to more than 1,600 cases of coronavirus in the US right now.
The Obama administration tested 1 million people within four weeks of the outbreak while the Trump administration has tested fewer than 15,000.
Trump lied about poll numbers too:
Trump’s attempt to boast about the support for his response was also inaccurate.
"Trump does not have a '78% approval rating' over coronavirus. A Feb. Gallup poll that did not specifically ask about Trump, and was taken well before the first US death, found 77% had confidence in the 'federal government' to handle a coronavirus outbreak," explained CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale. "Polls asking specifically about Trump's handling of the outbreak have given him ratings much lower than 78%."