April 18 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan, Laura Smith-Spark, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 8:59 p.m. ET, April 18, 2020
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9:04 p.m. ET, April 17, 2020

5.5 million testing swabs will be sent to US states, Trump says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Donald Trump briefs the press in the White House on Friday.
Donald Trump briefs the press in the White House on Friday. Alex Brandon/AP

US President Donald Trump laid out the administration’s swab testing efforts during Friday’s briefing. 

In the next few weeks, he said, the federal government will “be sending out 5.5 million testing swabs to the states.”

The swabs, he said, “can be done easily by the governors themselves. Mostly it’s cotton. It’s not a big deal, you can get cotton easily, but if they can’t get it, we will take care of it.”

People might soon be able to perform their own test swabs for Covid-19 at home with a newly designed, Q-tip-style swab, the FDA said Thursday.

CNN reported the FDA said it had worked with US Cotton to design the swabs, which are shorter than the swabs used by technicians, doctors or nurses to collect samples to test people for Covid-19 infection. The FDA also said US Cotton plans to manufacture large quantities of these swabs.