Health and Human Services chief says ‘we don’t know’ how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explains why the CDC doesn’t know the exact number of people who have been tested for the novel coronavirus as the US death toll rises.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday the department does not know how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus.

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases climb across the US, state and local officials have expressed frustration about the number of testing kits that are available to health care providers. There has also been confusion among Trump administration officials over the number of testing kits that have been mailed out.

“We don’t know exactly how many, because hundreds of thousands of our tests have gone out to private labs and hospitals that currently do not report in to (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” Azar told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” when asked how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus at this point. “We’re working with the CDC and those partners to get an I.T. reporting system up and running hopefully this week where we would be able to get that data to keep track of how many we’re testing.”

The HHS chief also said there are 2.1 million testing kits currently available and more than 1 million have been shipped.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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