Trying something to make it look like they are doing something, rather than doing what they should have been doing weeks ago.
Many countries are testing more people in a day than the US has tested in a month. The numbers are so embarassing that the CDC took them off their web site. When pressed in an interview the surgeon general refused to give numbers.
This all looks like an incompetent government trying to pretend the problem isn't there. If you don't test then you don't have cases to report, problem solved.