WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he is willing to provide Joe Biden, his presumptive Democratic opponent, with a rapid COVID-19 testing system so Biden can return to the campaign trail.
Trump, who this week made his first trip out of Washington in more than a month, relies on a federal supply of coronavirus tests so that he can maintain a more traditional schedule, while Biden has been isolating at home for nearly two months.
In a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends,” Trump said he would be willing to provide the former vice president with the same coronavirus tests he uses.
“Yes, 100%. I’d love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak,” Trump said, needling Biden for holding virtual campaign events and media interviews from a studio in his home.
He added, that if Biden’s team asked for them, “We would have it to them today.”
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and anyone they come into close contact with are now being tested daily for COVID-19 after one of the president’s valets tested positive for the virus this week. The availability of the tests has allowed Trump and Pence to resume a travel schedule and to host business leaders, medical professionals and lawmakers for meetings.
The stockpile of the rapid testing machines, which provide individual results in 5 to 15 minutes is largely controlled by the federal government. Trump on Tuesday personally delivered boxes of test kits to the Navajo Nation, flying them on Air Force One on his trip to Phoenix.
Responding to concerns raised last week by Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the U. S. Congress, that his office did not have the capacity to test all lawmakers returning to Washington, Trump directed that Congress be provided with three of the testing machines.
But in a rare joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell rejected Trump’s offer, directing the test kits to first responders and others on the front lines of fighting the spread of the virus.
There was no immediate response to Trump’s offer from the Biden campaign.