Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Florida Air Force Veteran Speaks Out as VA Hospital Refuses COVID-19 Test Despite Symptoms
Press Release

RELEASE: Florida Air Force Veteran Speaks Out as VA Hospital Refuses COVID-19 Test Despite Symptoms

Press Contacts

  • Freedom Murphy

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump continues to lie about his administration’s so-called success in combating the coronavirus pandemic, even as the United States overtakes China as the global epicenter of the virus with more than 91,000 confirmed cases—and as the American death toll tops 1,300. Now, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing a new video as part of a social media campaign to educate Americans on the harm of this administration’s inaction and failed promises to deliver on test kits and emergency ventilators for hospitals.

The campaign is telling stories of Americans such as Sarah Samere, a U.S. Air Force veteran and single mother of two from Jupiter, Florida. According to Samere, she has had COVID-19 symptoms since the beginning of March and has repeatedly tried to get tested at her local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital near President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. While Trump promised that “anyone who wants a test can get a test,” Samere says that the VA has refused to test her because she hasn’t had any known contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19. She says that the VA even refused to test her for the flu and asked her to stay away from the VA hospital, instead choosing to mail her antibiotics without a diagnosis. Samere worries about the lack of available tests and what that means for handling the spread of the virus.

“I started feeling sick, and all of a sudden, it kind of hit me pretty hard. I decided to call the VA. They wouldn’t give me a test for COVID,” she says. “You can’t even know who has it if you’re not even testing severely symptomatic people. It doesn’t make any sense.”

For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at fmurphy.af@americanprogressaction.org or 202-796-9712.