Our pandemic response is stalling. And it’s made worse by Trump’s ignorance.

A critical pillar of containing the pandemic is diagnostic testing. An average of 634,000 people a day were tested over the past week, but that is way below the nationwide target of 1.6 million daily tests needed for mitigation of the virus, and far below what would be necessary to suppress it, according to a methodology developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute. In California and Nebraska, some testing sites were forced to close down because of a shortage in testing kits, chemical reagents and other supplies, ABC News reported. State, local and hospital officials in 13 states said they are experiencing testing problems.

Just as important is the percentage of positive tests, rising in many states, because of both more illness and limited testing. The Harvard group says the target should be 3 percent or less. A seven-day moving average in the United States is now 8.4 percent and rising, and in some states, it is alarmingly high: Arizona at 27 percent, Florida at 19.6 percent, Alabama at 17 percent, Texas at 16.1 percent and California at 7.6 percent.

A second pillar is contact tracing to find those who are sick and isolate them from the public. It must be done quickly after cases are detected, but the spikes and test delays are playing havoc. Peter Hotez, dean of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN that in the South and Southwest, “The cases are rising so rapidly that we cannot even do contact tracing anymore. I don’t see how it’s possible to even do that.”

Face masks, a simple measure that can help control the spread of viral transmission, are still not mandated everywhere that social distancing is not possible. Supplies of personal protective equipment — masks, gowns and gloves — are running short again.

On top of all this, Mr. Trump has taken the nation into a dangerous minefield of reckless openings, urging governors to relax restrictions too early, and triggering a level of daily new cases that is three times larger than it was a month ago. Some governors are attempting to reverse course, but with difficulty. Bar owners in Texas filed suit against Gov. Greg Abbott’s renewed shutdown order.

The nation’s dire situation is made worse by Mr. Trump’s ignorance and denial. He’s still claiming incorrectly that soaring case counts are due to more testing. He falsely and callously says “99 percent” of cases “are totally harmless.” The president is disconnected from reality. Witness the jammed hospital intensive care units from Florida to California. Despite heroic efforts by health-care workers, the pandemic is out of control in most of the United States, many states are overwhelmed and struggling, and the death toll stands at 132,000 people.

That is not “harmless.”

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