President Donald Trump once again claimed that coronavirus cases are only climbing because of increased testing nationwide.
“Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!” he wrote.
Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
“That argument might have been true in April when testing was still ramping up. It’s not true anymore,” wrote Washington Post reporter Paige Winfield Cunningham in her analysis, noting that “The fact that testing has increased means the infection trends are no longer distorted.”
The president’s remark comes after he called widespread testing a “double-edged sword” during a free-wheeling speech at a Tulsa rally over the weekend.
“Here’s the bad part,” Trump said at the time. “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please!’”
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, defended the president, saying he was merely joking.
“He was joking about the media and their failure to understand the fact that when you test more, you also find more cases,” she said.
Nearly 123,000 Americans have died from the novel coronavirus since the first case in the United States was reported in February. While some places, like New York, which was especially hard hit, have stabilized, states that have pushed to reopen their economies early, like Arizona, Florida, and Texas, have seen an uptick in cases.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.