MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has a question that he could answer with Google and a few minutes of his time, but, whatever:
Remember when the president announced to great fanfare (and a stock market rally) that soon we'd have up drive up testing in Wal Mart and Target? Where'd we end up on that?
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 25, 2020
He’s referring to the announcement last week that retailing giants Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Target would make their parking lots available for COVID-19 drive-through testing:
— Marina Strauss (@MarinaStrauss) March 13, 2020
FWIW, CVS opened a pilot site in Massachusetts:
Just in: CVS has opened its first drive-up testing site for the coronavirus. It opened this afternoon in Massachusetts.
It's one of four retailers that pledged to have drive-through testing locations at a White House press conference. https://t.co/7F5gAjWG60
— Melissa Repko (@melissa_repko) March 19, 2020
Walmart has two pilot sites in Illinois:
Two drive thru #COVID19 testing locations for first responders and healthcare workers have been set up at Walmart in Joliet and Northlake. Open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM.
137 W North Ave, Northlake
2424 W Jefferson St, Joliethttps://t.co/sOFDn2oc5Z
— Office of Illinois State Fire Marshal (@ILFireMarshal) March 23, 2020
And Walgreens has a testing site in the Chicago area as well:
As we announced on March 13, we are working with the Administration and state and local health officials to help provide and expand access to COVID-19 testing. This past weekend (March 21-22), we activated our first drive-thru testing site in the Chicago area.
This is a critical time for our country, and COVID-19 response requires collaboration across industries and sectors. Walgreens is proud to be playing an instrumental role in this public-private partnership, and to do everything we can to help ensure the health and well-being of Americans during the pandemic. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
Access to testing is critical. Initially, locally executed, state-run and federally supported COVID-19 testing at this site will be available for those on the front lines of the pandemic, including first responders and health care workers. Over the coming days, our most vulnerable citizens, including those over age 65, will also be directed to this location. It will not be available to the general public. In the interest of security and patient privacy, media will not be permitted to have access to the testing site, but we are available to respond to requests for information.
It doesn’t look like Target has been able to get a site launched yet:
Not ready for drive-by testing ..but like @Walgreens, and @Walmart.. they are working on it. @CVS opened its first in Mass. Meantime @Target announces $300m employee relief pkg – includes $2/hr pay raises, paid leave for 30 days for some employees & bonuses. #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/Ml2AQZpOUt
— Heather Moore (@HMooreTV) March 22, 2020
It also looks like these companies are running into the same difficulties as every other medical professional right now as there’s a lack of protective gear for workers:
CVS CEO Larry Merlo: Lack of protective gear for workers has slowed rollout of drive-thru testing https://t.co/vxOtoeigze CNBC – via @retailwire #retail #CoronaVirusUpdates @CVSHealth pic.twitter.com/VmXgGpoh2K
— RetailWire.com (@retailwire) March 25, 2020
So, if you want to dunk on President Trump for over-hyping these sites, go ahead. But you can’t say they’re not moving forward in, we’d argue, a sensible way.