President Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak at a campaign rally at the BOK Center, Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump suggests U.S. slow virus testing to avoid bad statistics

The outbreak has killed about 120,000 people in the U.S., and nearly a half-million worldwide

President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s asked his administration to slow down coronavirus testing because robust testing turns up too many cases of COVID-19.

Trump told supporters at his campaign rally that the U.S. has tested 25 million people, far more than any other country. The “bad part,” Trump said, is that widespread testing leads to logging more cases of the virus.

“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’ They test and they test.”

The campaign of likely Democratic presidential rival, Joe Biden, said Trump was putting politics ahead of the safety and health of Americans.

Trump opted to hold his first rally in 110 days despite concerns from local health officials that it could lead to further spread of the virus in Tulsa. Most of those in attendance declined to wear a mask.

“In an outrageous moment that will be remembered long after tonight’s debacle of a rally, President Trump just admitted that he’s putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people — even as we just recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in almost two months and 20 million workers remain out of work,” according to the Biden campaign’s statement.

The outbreak has killed about 120,000 people in the U.S., and nearly a half-million worldwide, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, though the real numbers are believed to be higher.

The number of newly confirmed cases per day has risen from about 21,400 two weeks ago to 23,200, according to an Associated Press analysis. And in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona — states that loosened their stay-at-home restrictions early — daily deaths have been quietly rising since early June.

“This virus has killed nearly 120,000 Americans and cost tens of millions their jobs, in large part because this president could not and would not mobilize testing as quickly as we needed it,” according to the Biden campaign statement. “To hear him say tonight that he has ordered testing slowed — a transparent attempt to make the numbers look better — is appalling.”

Rising case numbers can partially be explained by the wider availability of testing. Mild cases, previously undetected because of limits on who could be tested, are now showing up in the numbers.

ALSO READ: Juneteenth: A day of joy and pain – and now national action

Kevin Freking, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusDonald TrumpUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

In photos: Penticton Speedway celebrates opening weekend

Despite having to turn away roughly 700 cars, organizers celebrating a successful weekend of racing

RCMP investigate bear spray assault outside Penticton pub

Two patrons assaulted with bear spray outside Nanaimo Avenue pub

Coalmont woman airlifted after ATV crash

Off-road vehicle swerved to miss oncoming traffic

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Kamloops man pleads guilty in vehicle-ramming incident that injured a Mountie

Adam Hibbert was arrested following a collision during a police pursuit on May 26, 2019

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

Most Read