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President Trump said at a press briefing that he disagrees with Anthony Fauci's assessment that the U.S. is "just not there yet" in terms of reaching the testing capacity needed to reopen large parts of the economy.

Why it matters: Fauci is the nation's top infectious diseases expert and is among the most trusted voices on the White House's coronavirus task force.

  • The number of coronavirus tests being completed every day in the U.S. has increased in recent weeks, but experts say it still falls short of what is needed to relax stay-at-home orders.
  • A number of governors said this week that there are shortages of key testing ingredients like swabs and reagents that are preventing their states from meeting demand.

Driving the news: Fauci said in an interview with TIME magazine Thursday that “we are not in a situation where we can say we are exactly where we want to be with regard to testing."

  • “We need to significantly ramp up not only the number of tests, but the capacity to perform them, so that you don’t have a situation where you have a test but it can’t be done because there isn’t a swab, or because there isn’t extraction media, or not the right vial,” Fauci told TIME.
  • “I am not overly confident right now at all that we have what it takes to do that. We are doing better, and I think we are going to get there, but we are not there yet.”

What Trump's saying: "No, I don't agree with him on that. No, I think we're doing a great job on testing," the president said at Thursday's White House briefing, repeating his near-daily claim that the U.S. has tested more people for the coronavirus than any other country.

  • "As you know, and as I've said very times, we're very advanced in testing. Other countries are calling us to find out what are we doing."
  • "And by the way, in two weeks, you'll see numbers, and you'll see different forms of testing just like we came up with the Abbott laboratory machine, which gives it [to] you in five minutes, which everybody wants ... But as you know, we've done more testing than every other nation combined. And that's a big statement."

Go deeper: Governors contradict Trump's claims that states have testing capacity to reopen

Go deeper

Updated Aug 4, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide mask mandate on Tuesday for people in public, as well as teachers and students going back to school.

The big picture: 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have issued some form of a mask mandate as infections surge across the country.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

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