Internally, aides started to blame officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for flawed testing kits and the amount of time it took to get results back. The administration’s internal criticism of the CDC has made the agency the latest scapegoat as Trump’s team sought to deflect blame and cushion the president from what could become devastating political blowback against the president and his party in the coming months.

Morale inside the White House bottomed out on Friday, said a third senior administration official, but turned a corner once the Food and Drug Administration approved a new COVID-19 detection test from the pharmaceutical company Roche as part of an emergency authorization.

“They reached the conclusion this week that they had to communicate a sense of seriousness about what was going on and had to reassure the country that they were taking it very seriously,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who remains a close ally of Trump. “Having major companies like Wal-Mart, CVS, etc. involved means suddenly you begin to see how you can move to scale for a country for our size.”