'The governors are flying blind': Maine senator slams Trump administration for encouraging states to open up without adequate testing

'The governors are flying blind': Maine senator slams Trump administration for encouraging states to open up without adequate testing
U.S. Depart of Agriculture (USDA) Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett hosts a conversation on opioid misuse in rural Maine with Senator Angus King, Jr. (SEEN), and Congressman Bruce Poliquin at the The Gracie Theatre, on the Husson University campus, in Bangor, Maine on July 9, 2018. Panelists also include Advocate and Person in Long-Term Recovery Courtney Allen, Maine Center for Disease Control Program Manager Christine Theriault, LMSW, CPS; District 147 Representative Harold “Trey” L. Stewart III, University of Maine Center on Aging Director Lenard Kaye, Muskie School of Public Service Maine Rural Health Research Center Senior Research Associate John Gale, Milo Town Manager Damien Pickel, The Voice of Maine Radio Personality Ric Tyler, Penobscot Community Health Care Senior Expert Dr. Trip Gardner, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton, Husson University School of Pharmacy Associate Professor Stephanie Nichols, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, Health Resources Service Administration Deputy Regional Administrator Captain Christopher Bersani, Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Mental Health Services and Office of Substance Abuse Director Sheldon Wheeler, Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, Wellspring/BARN Clinical Director Bruce Campbell, and Shepherd's Godparent Home Director Barbara Ford. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

The independent Sen. Angus King of Maine has been one of the political wild cards in the U.S. Senate, sometimes agreeing with Republicans and sometimes agreeing with Democrats. During a Tuesday, May 5 appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” the 76-year-old King was critical of Republicans — stressing that governors have been “flying blind” during the coronavirus pandemic and asserting that he hasn’t received enough intelligence information when it comes to the origins of COVID-19.

When “New Day” host John Berman brought up the theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Mainland China, King asserted, “I haven’t seen any recent intelligence on this in the last month or so. If the president and the secretary of state, (Mike Pompeo), have intelligence on this, then as a member of the (Senate) Intelligence Committee, I want to see it. I’m entitled to see classified material. There are no limits on that kind of material being shared with the intelligence committees of the Congress. So, it bothers me that for the president and the secretary of state to assert, in such certainty — in fact, I think the president said ‘a high degree of certainty’ without at least sharing with the (Senate) Intelligence Committee on a closed classified basis what the basis of that is.”

Berman noted that Australian officials have disagreed with the theory that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab and stressed that the evidence points to “animal to human transmission.”

King went on to discuss Maine’s efforts to cope with the pandemic — and he asserted that it’s ridiculous for states to be reopening prematurely when not nearly enough coronavirus testing is taking place.

“The scandal here is the lack of testing,” King told Berman. “This whole opening up without adequate testing — which he don’t have now — is a crapshoot. The governors are flying blind. If we had adequate testing and tracing, we could open up a lot more safely."

Watch the video below:

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