During a Tuesday meeting of the White House coronavirus task force in the Situation Room, Vice President Pence and other officials discussed diverting new tests to areas where there are relatively few cases, according to two individuals familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.They said the administration needs “to figure out the spread in places where we don’t quite understand it now,” according to one of the individuals present. The final consensus seemed to be, “Let’s send it to the South and low density areas.”The lag in delivering test results is taking a toll on communities across the country, depriving them of workers who can respond to medical emergencies and sowing uncertainty among hospital officials deciding what precautions to take. The competition for machines is so intense that governors and mayors have begun personally calling Abbott executives to negotiate orders.In beleaguered Detroit, which now has one of the nation’s highest rates of infection and one of the fastest rising death tolls, Mayor Mike Duggan said Wednesday that he secured the cellphone number of Miles White — the chairman and outgoing chief executive of Abbott Labs — and woke him up Sunday morning

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