COVID-19 daily update: Medical mask shortage, increased testing nationwide

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Questions about medical resources dominated the conversation across the country on Saturday, as several national and state officials provided updates on the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

One topic that emerged during the Trump Administration’s press conference on Saturday afternoon was the limited nationwide supply of N-95 masks for patients and healthcare professionals.

“The supply of so-called N-95 masks has been vastly increased in the country,” Vice-President Mike Pence said.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force believes that allowing industrial masks to be used will help with the current shortage.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump announced that coronavirus testing is also expanding.

The White House reports that more than 195,000 people have been tested nationwide so far. Out of those who have undergone testing, roughly 19,350 have tested positive for COVID-19.

However, some officials say this isn’t enough.

“The federal government is like Lucy with the football and I feel like Charlie Brown," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

Pritzker explained during his press conference on Saturday that he owes all of the state’s COVID-19 testing expansion to all of those working on the front lines.

“The researchers, the laboratory technicians, the doctors - they’re the ones who have actually figured out how to test and have spun up testing all across the state," Pritzker said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced that he has issued an order for testing and treatments to be free for all residents throughout the state.

Vice-President Pence wants to remind the public that we are only on the sixth day of the White House’s 15-day plan to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

“Every American - this is what you can do to make a difference over the next week,” Pence said.

President Trump says he plans to have more information about a possible economic stimulus package in the next few days. He hopes the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will vote to approve the package on Monday.

Vice President Pence also confirmed that an aide on his staff tested positive last week for COVID-19.

Pence says he has not made any direct contact with the aide, but he and his wife will undergo testing later in the day.

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