Weekly total tests fall for two consecutive weeks
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana logged its highest COVID-19 weekly testing total the week beginning June 14. That Saturday in Tulsa, President Donald Trump implored his people to “slow the testing down, please.”
Perhaps his Indiana Campaign Chair was listening.
Since then, Indiana’s weekly testing total has fallen for two consecutive weeks. Last week’s test totals fell by more than 16% from June 14 weekly totals.
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Even if the governor wasn’t following the instruction of his President, the numbers don’t lie. At a time when cases are surging and the governor himself has slowed his reopening plan as a result of rising concern, we have less surveillance as to where the virus is than two weeks ago.
It’s unclear what’s driving the testing slowdown. Is Optum – who is contracted with the state to perform 132 tests/day at each site – unable to meet the demand? The company had fewer than the 50 sites Holcomb trumpeted about when he announced the state contract open as of last week.
The state had admitted to a “rocky” rollout and was forced to close an Optum site in Goshen when an employee was accused of discriminating against Latino Hoosiers.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called on Eric Holcomb to answer why the state’s testing numbers were decreasing and whether his cozy relationship with Optum execs was clouding his judgement.
“Is Optum failing to hold up their end of the bargain or is the governor satisfied with falling test numbers?” asked Zody. “We won’t beat this virus if Eric Holcomb can’t or won’t admit the testing company his administration hand-picked isn’t up to the job. Campaign contributions shouldn’t paper over poor performance. Hoosiers deserve to know why testing capacity is shrinking.”