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White House holds conference call with nation's governors on testing supplies

VP Mike Pence conducted Monday morning call
Posted at 10:07 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 13:17:06-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is ramping up its outreach to governors after insisting it was up to states to scale coronavirus testing.

Vice President Mike Pence conducted a conference call with the nation’s governors Monday morning, including Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, in response to calls for a national testing strategy to help secure in-demand supplies like testing swabs and chemical reagents.

According to a tweet from Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, it was "another productive call this morning with VP Pence, Dr. Birx and the federal task force."

"The entire meeting was focused on testing and this map," Cox said. "Everything you need to know about dedication and collaboration in Utah is right here. And we are doing it with almost no federal help."

The call came a day after Trump announced that he would be using the Defense Production Act to compel one company to manufacture swabs.

Officials and health experts say the country needs to dramatically scale its testing infrastructure if it is going to safely roll back restrictions and reopen businesses without risking a major spike in infections.