Weird: In a tweet directed at the Surgeon General, Ted Lieu neglected to mention it was L.A. health officials who refused to provide the COVID-19 testRep. Ted Lieu took issues with Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams earlier on Sunday and asked him to clarify remarks he made to Jake Tapper, in Rep. Lieu’s words, that he wasn’t “aware of any doctor asking for a #coronavirus test that couldn’t get it.”

But what’s really weird is that the link Rep. Lieu provided to the Los Angeles Times as evidence that what Adams said was wrong shows that it’s Los Angeles health officials that refused to test this patient and has nothing to do with the Trump administration.

First up, here’s Rep. Lieu’s tweet:

And here’s the CNN transcript (emphasis ours) to show you exactly what Adams said:

ADAMS: Well, but here’s what people should know about the testing.

They should know that we have 75,000 tests available right now for folks. By early next week, tomorrow, we should have over two million tests available, by the end of the week, through partnerships with private industry, over four million tests available.

But the most important number to the American people is one. They want to know, if I go in, can I get a test?

And the one thing that I have heard — I have been to Georgia, I have been to Florida, I have been to Connecticut in the past week — is that no public health doctor who has asked for a test has not been able to get a test.

So, people should talk to their health care providers. We — we have been telling folks, if you and your health care provider talk, and your health care provider thinks you need a test, then you will get a test.

And we’re rapidly ramping up capacity.

TAPPER: But you can’t give me — just a yes or no, you can’t give me even a rough number of how many Americans have been tested? You don’t know?


ADAMS: I would refer you to the CDC for that because, again, the numbers change so rapidly. I don’t want to give you a number.

TAPPER: They took it off the Web site, how many people have been tested, they removed it from the Web site.

ADAMS: Well, actually, I would direct you to the transcript from the conversation that FDA commissioner Steve Hahn had yesterday where he gave very specific numbers. An important thing for the American people to know, again, is talk to your health care provider. If your health care provider thinks you need a test, there has been no indication I’ve gotten from around the country that folks can’t get them.

Now here’s the LA Times article that says it was local health officials who turned this doctor down and that had nothing to do with the Trump administration:

“Last night I had a patient with clear coronavirus symptoms, but the health department didn’t think he should be tested,” said an emergency room doctor in Downey who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I went from that patient into the next room, where I had an 80-year-old, immune-compromised, diabetic patient. If I’m taking coronavirus in there, it’s mild for me, but it’s deadly for her.”

This was after the CDC lifted its guidance to allow doctors to test more patients, including ones like in Rep. Lieu’s example:

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday lifted some guidelines so anyone with symptoms can be tested by their physician, L.A. officials did not immediately adopt that criteria because of a backlog at the local health lab and continued to limit tests to hospitalized patients. Lab staff were working at least 18-hour days to keep up, county officials said.

We assume President Trump is responsible for this, too?

Officials also announced that two commercial labs will be online by Monday to test for the virus.

“We don’t have capacity to test hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people every day” at the county-run lab alone, said L.A. County Public Health Department Director Barbara Ferrer. “Now it’s up to the individual provider to make that determination.”

And here’s a reminder that during the 2009 Swine Flu epidemic we saw a lot of similar problems with testing failures at the beginning of the outbreak:


But the media is holding the Trump administration to a much higher standard:

The media needs to remember this: