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President Trump says 150 million rapid coronavirus tests will be distributed across the U.S.

7 million confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S.
President Trump
Posted at 12:26 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 18:42:00-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump provided an update on the nation's coronavirus testing strategy during a speech from the White House Rose Garden Monday afternoon.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus | Elections 2020

The president said 150 million rapid coronavirus tests will be distributed across the country "in the coming weeks" that will provide results in minutes. He said this will be double the amount of rapid tests already performed.

Trump said 50 million tests will go toward the most vulnerable to the virus, including nursing home patients.

The president also said 100 million of the tests will support efforts to allow states to reopen schools and their economies.

NEWS CONFERENCE: President Trump announces 150 million rapid coronavirus tests to be distributed (23 minutes)

There have been more than seven million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and 205,000 deaths as of Monday.

Florida has logged more than 14,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began earlier this year.

The briefing comes a day before Trump is set to take on former Vice President Joe Biden in the first presidential debate of the 2020 election. One of the announced topics is the COVID-19 pandemic, which Biden has accused Trump of failing to adequately address.

The move to dramatically expand testing comes just five weeks before the November elections as Trump continues to face criticism for his handling of the coronavirus.

The president did not take questions from reporters during the event held in the Rose Garden.

The rapid tests from Abbott Laboratories can be used outside of medical facilities. But experts warn they are less accurate and harder to track than older laboratory tests.

The announcement comes a day after a New York Times report said Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.