Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified at a House hearing Thursday that the current system of making coronavirus testing available in the U.S. is not set up in a way that we need it to be.

Why it matters: Fauci's testimony directly contradicted comments made by President Trump, who told reporters in the Oval Office Thursday that "testing has been going very smooth."

  • Less than 10,000 Americans have been tested, according to lawmakers, far fewer than in other countries like South Korea — which is testing 20,000 people per day.
  • Trump's comments have set off frustration among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, who heard testimony from Fauci and other health officials on Thursday.

When asked if there is one person in charge who can ensure that people who need the tests are receiving them, Fauci said:

"The system is not really geared to what we need right now, what you are asking for. That is a failing. Let's admit it. The fact is, the way the system was set up, the public health component that Dr. Redfield was talking about, was a system where you put it out there in the public and a physician asks for it and you get it. The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it — we're not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we're not."

Editor’s note: This post has been clarified to add context to Fauci's comments.

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 31,346,086 — Total deaths: 965,294— Total recoveries: 21,518,790Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,858,130 — Total deaths: 199,890 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
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Why it matters: Puerto Rico is locked out of most federal funding available to U.S. states to help expand internet service. The island risks being left behind as carriers expand and upgrade high-speed internet networks elsewhere, even as infrastructure-damaging tropical storms come faster and harder and the pandemic makes broadband even more of a must-have.

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America's elected representatives have failed America.

Why it matters: The bipartisan inability to deliver economic stimulus could impede economic growth for months to come. It will create widespread damage across America — from small businesses to large industries to schools and day cares — and leave many Americans without jobs or homes.

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