'I'm banging my head against a wall': New Hampshire leads the states' frustration as 'game-changing' coronavirus testing kits arrive with enough supplies to run just 100 tests

New mobile testing kits that were hailed by the White House as a game-changing development in the US response to coronavirus are sitting idle across several states as officials say they arrived without enough supplies.  
The federal government purchased a fleet of the Abbott Laboratories testing machines, which are able to deliver results within minutes instead of days, and began distributing them among the states last week.  
Every state except for Alaska was given 15 machines, regardless of its population or severity of its outbreak.  
Governors who were thrilled at the prospect of being able to run up to 3,000 tests per day are now expressing frustration that the machines arrived with only 120 cartridges, enough for about 100 tests.  
'There was a lot of talk about this device, a lot of hype on it nationally, and it's wonderful, and when they showed up, expectations were really high,' New Hampshire Gov Chris Sununu told a news conference on Wednesday.
'But to actually have 13 of these devices and have no way to use them - I'm banging my head against a wall. I really am. It's really frustrating.'  
Sununu, a Republican, said that most of the machines would sit idle until he figures out how to get more cartridges, one of which is needed to complete each test. 
New mobile testing kits that were hailed by the White House as a game-changing development in the US response to coronavirus are sitting idle across several states as officials say they arrived without enough supplies. One of the Abbott Laboratories machines is pictured
New mobile testing kits that were hailed by the White House as a game-changing development in the US response to coronavirus are sitting idle across several states as officials say they arrived without enough supplies. One of the Abbott Laboratories machines is pictured
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu was one of many top state officials across the country who expressed frustration over the limited supplies for the Abbott Laboratories testing machines. 'There was a lot of talk about this device, a lot of hype on it nationally, and it's wonderful, and when they showed up, expectations were really high,' Sununu told a news conference on Wednesday (pictured). 'But to actually have 13 of these devices and have no way to use them - I'm banging my head against a wall. I really am. It's really frustrating'
Sununu frustrated with limited number of supplies to run tests
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The federal government has faced fierce criticism over nationwide testing shortages that have crippled the US response to coronavirus, which has sickened more than 534,000 Americans and killed at least 20,647 as of Sunday morning.
Public health officials including top members of the White House coronavirus task force have acknowledged the testing failures, while President Donald Trump has maintained that the system is the strongest in the world.  
Trump unveiled the plan to distribute Abbott testing machines about two weeks ago - calling them a 'whole new ballgame' in the fight against the pandemic. 
The excitement over the 'game-changing' machines quickly dissolved as they arrived in states with so few cartridges.  
Asked about the issue but the Wall Street Journal, US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) spokeswoman Mia Heck said that states are able to order more supplies through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
Heck explained that the federal government purchased limited quantities of Abbott machines for state labs because it wanted to allow enough for hospitals to buy them as well.  
She did not respond to a question about why 49 states received the same number of tests and machines.  
Alaska received 50 machines - despite having the third-smallest population of any state - to bolster testing efforts in remote areas, Heck said.  
President Donald Trump showed off one of the Abbott machines at a press conference on March 30 (pictured) - calling the kits a 'whole new ballgame' in the fight against the pandemic
President Donald Trump showed off one of the Abbott machines at a press conference on March 30 (pictured) - calling the kits a 'whole new ballgame' in the fight against the pandemic
The federal government has faced fierce criticism over nationwide testing shortages that have crippled the US response to coronavirus, which has sickened more than 534,000 Americans and killed at least 20,647 as of Sunday morning
The federal government has faced fierce criticism over nationwide testing shortages that have crippled the US response to coronavirus, which has sickened more than 534,000 Americans and killed at least 20,647 as of Sunday morning 
Illinois Gov J.B. Pritzker said he spoke to Abbott, which is based in his state, over a week ago and made an agreement to conduct 88,000 tests a month, or about 3,000 daily. 
After the federal government took over purchasing and distribution of the tests, Illinois received far fewer than Pritzker had anticipated.  
'That's eight tests per machine for all of Illinois,' the Democratic governor said.  
In New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak, said their Abbott machines wouldn't be used until they acquire enough cartridges to make them practical.  
In Louisiana, which has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the nation, Gov John Bel Edwards said he had hoped to deploy the Abbott machines statewide to help keep health-care workers on the job while preserving personal protective equipment.  
'We have the machines, but not necessarily the cartridges to make a big difference,'  Edwards said.  
HHS also allocated 250 machines for the Indian Health Service, which provides health care for 2.6 million Native Americans. 
Tori Kitcheyan, chair of the National Indian Health Board, said the agency wasn't given nearly enough cartridges to meet demand on remote reservations with limited access to any COVID-19 testing.  
Abbott is currently manufacturing 50,000 cartridges per day and has vowed to continue increasing production to meet states' needs. The company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, is shown above
Abbott is currently manufacturing 50,000 cartridges per day and has vowed to continue increasing production to meet states' needs. The company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, is shown above
Abbott is currently manufacturing 50,000 cartridges per day and has vowed to continue increasing production to meet states' needs. 
Each cartridge costs $40, while the machines cost $4,500.  
A spokesperson said that as of Friday the company had shipped nearly 500,000 cartridges to doctors' offices, universities and laboratories that have placed their own orders, in addition to those purchased by the federal government. 
If and when the Abbott machines do get up and running, they're expected to significantly improve testing delays in states scrambling to keep up with demand. 
Such improvement has already been seen in Detroit, which purchased a large number after the tests were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration late last month.
The Detroit mayor's office said the city has already administered more than 1,000 since the start of the month, initially focusing on first responders and bus drivers who had been placed in quarantine. 
Detroit recently ordered an additional 4,000 tests which are expected to be used at nursing homes and homeless shelters. 
'I'm banging my head against a wall': New Hampshire leads the states' frustration as 'game-changing' coronavirus testing kits arrive with enough supplies to run just 100 tests 'I'm banging my head against a wall': New Hampshire leads the states' frustration as 'game-changing' coronavirus testing kits arrive with enough supplies to run just 100 tests Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:51 Rating: 5

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