* The federal government is ending funding and support for 13 coronavirus testing sites in five states on June 30, Talking Points Memo and CNN reported.
* It comes as the US continues to see a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
* The decision will hurt Texas especially badly. The state has seven of those testing sites and is currently seeing a record spike in cases.
* President Donald Trump had said over the weekend that he would slow down testing, claiming that widespread testing makes it seem like the US outbreak is much worse than other countries.
The federal government will stop funding and support for 13 coronavirus testing sites in five states on June 30, despite the US seeing a new surge in cases, according to reports from Talking Points Memo and CNN.
The 13 closing testing sites are located in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. They were set up early on in the outbreak by the federal government to amp up testing capabilities and take some of the burden off local and state governments.
Funding for these test sites expire on June 30, and federal officials have decided not to extend it.
The reports come after President Donald Trump said over the weekend that the US’ high infection rate was a result of widespread testing, and said he had asked officials to start scaling back testing in response.
In a later tweet he added that “cases are going up in the US because we are testing far more than any other country.”
“With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!” Trump tweeted.
While the US has conducted more coronavirus tests than any other country, it lags behind in terms of coronavirus tests per capita. According to Worldometer, countries like Iceland and the UK have tested more people per capita than the US.
Texas will likely be hardest hit by the test-site closures: it is home to seven of the 13 sites being shut. The state has also seen record spikes in cases in recent days.
Rocky Vaz, director of emergency management for the city of Dallas, told Talking Points Memo that he asked for an extension of the testing sites but was turned down.
“They told us very clearly that they are not going to extend it,” Vaz said.
Vaz said the city would probably need to hire private contractors to replace the federal testing sites that are closing in the state.
“The personnel, the site, the tents, the generators, the kits, the lab work, the patient notification, all of that,” Vaz said. “These things cost money.”