04:36 - Source: CNN
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Washington CNN  — 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that President Donald Trump “seems to think if we don’t test” the coronavirus pandemic will “go away,” arguing Trump’s opposition to additional federal funding for testing represents a “dereliction of leadership.”

“The President seems to think if we don’t test, (coronavirus) will go away. It is an absurd proposition. But that’s why he’s resisted this all along. That why he’s resisted (Dr. Anthony Fauci and others) when they say we need more testing. It makes no sense,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”

“There is money there, but it’s not close to enough. And we propose more, and many Republicans agree with us,” he added.

The comments come as Congress and Trump grow increasingly split over what to include in the next stimulus bill. The White House has signaled that more money for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for contact tracing and testing shouldn’t be included, a position that many Republicans have disagreed with in recent days.

“We need more help on testing. He is fighting even with his own Republicans on this. It’s totally, totally a dereliction of leadership,” Schumer said. “It’s like there is no one there leading the country at a time of great crisis.”

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and others stressed to reporters on Monday that more money for testing is essential in the next stimulus.

“I certainly want to see money for testing. Testing is essential to the reopening,” Collins said.

Schumer, who, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is set to meet with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Tuesday, stressed in his CNN interview the need to make progress on a stimulus bill.

“Let’s get going. It’s over 60 days since the House passed the Heroes Act, which is a strong, bold and comprehensive proposal to deal with the greatest health crisis we’ve had in 100 years,” he said. “We hope they’re going to be unified and present something to us, present something to us in detail.”

CNN’s Manu Raju, Clare Foran, Lauren Fox and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.