Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that he was doubtful of the country's current testing capability, which is a key resource as several states and cities look to partially reopen their economies during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
During a Time 100 Talks interview, Fauci — the nation's top infectious disease expert and a White House coronavirus task force member — was asked how confident he was that the country currently has sufficient capability to handle the potential increased coronavirus testing needs in order to inform leaders looking to reopen hard-hit areas.
"We absolutely need to significantly ramp up, not only the number of tests but the capacity to actually perform them," Fauci said.
That way, he continued, "you don't have a situation where you have a test, but it can't be done because there's not a swab, or not an extraction media or not the right vial -- all of those things got to be in place."
"I am not overly confident right now at all, that we have what it takes to do that," Fauci added.
Some context: Fauci's comments run counter to President Donald Trump's regular assurances that American coronavirus testing is on solid footing, including on Wednesday when he told reporters "we're doing more testing, I think, than probably any of the governors want."
Trump and his political allies have touted the total number of coronavirus tests conducted in the US but the country still lags behind Italy in per capita tests performed.