A State Emergency Response Team member administers a COVID-19 test at the Maingate Complex at Walt Disney World on August 14, 2020 in Kissimmee, Florida. (Photo: Agencies)
WASHINGTON - US COVID-19 Testing Coordinator Brett Giroir said on Friday that the administration cannot meet the testing capacity that a public health expert believe is needed.
"Yes, we want to increase testing," Giroir, member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told CNN's The Lead program on Friday.
"There is no physical way to do 5 million tests per day in this country. If there's a way to turn it from 1 million to 5 million today, let me know," he said.
Giroir was responding to comments by Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, who told CNN earlier on Friday that the United States needs to conduct 4-5 million COVID-19 tests a day.
Testing such amount -- about 1.5 percent of the population -- "gives us a fighting chance at getting this virus under control," Jha said.
The United States has registered over 5.3 million COVID-19 cases as of 1 a.m. (0500 GMT) Sunday, according to the real-time tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that out of the over 71 million tests reported, about 9 percent were positive.