United States President Donald Trump holds up swabs as he speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force press conference on April 19, 2020 at the White House in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
According to a new report in the Washington Post, the White House is trying to block billions of dollars in coronavirus testing and contact tracking in the forthcoming stimulus relief bill, even as infections increase across the country and Americans have long waits to get test results get amid high demand.
The Trump administration also wants to block billions of dollars to be used to strengthen the disease control and prevention centers, the Pentagon, and the State Department to fight the pandemic, the post said on Saturday, citing people with the Considerations are familiar.
The White House declined CNBC's request for comment.
Some GOP lawmakers, angered by the government's position, are pushing back and trying to keep the $ 25 billion for testing and tracking the bill, the people involved in the negotiations told Post. According to reports, some White House officials believe that no new money should be provided for testing because previous aid is not spent.
While trying to block test support, the Trump administration is trying to use the legislation to fund non-pandemic priorities, such as a new FBI building, the Post said.
The Post report comes just a few hours after an article in the New York Times detailing how the White House has attempted to shift responsibility for dealing with the catastrophic pandemic to state governments. The Times report was based on interviews with state and administrative officials, as well as emails and documents.
President Trump has publicly called coronavirus testing a "double-edged sword" and even suggested at an election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that officials should slow down the tests. White House officials later said Trump was joking.
The Times report, however, portrayed a president who feels test-bound because the number of cases inevitably increases as more people are tested, which jeopardizes the reopening of the economy and may affect his chances of re-election.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to present a plan to combat the coronavirus next week when the Senate returns from its two-week break on July 4th. The Republican said last week that "children in school, work and healthcare will likely be the focus of the bill."
Democratic-house leaders and the GOP-controlled Senate earlier this month recognized that they need to approve more help to fight the spread of the deadly disease while supporting the economy and educating students.
White House considerations come as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase at the national level. Dozens of countries have seen revival after the reopening of their economies. Only nine U.S. states have the virus under control and only three are on track to curb Covid-19, according to the Covid Act Now tracking project.
On Saturday, the United States reported 71,558 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. This was the second day in a row that at least 70,000 new cases have occurred in the country. According to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins' data, average new cases daily increased 18.34% nationwide compared to a week ago.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has spread worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 14 million confirmed cases and over 597,000 deaths. The United States had more than 3.6 million cases and at least 139,302 deaths, the latest figures, more than any other country.
Read the full Washington Post report here.
– CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.