President Trump told reporters Tuesday that he was absolutely sincere about his intent to reduce covid-19 testing, an incoherent move given the sharp increase in covid-19 cases in several states. Trump first shared his plan during his recent flop of a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, leaving the White House scrambling to insist that the comment was simply said in jest.
But Trump says he was serious.
“I don’t kid,” Trump said.
He continued: “We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world. We test better than anybody in the world. Our tests are the best in the world, and we have the best of them.”
But while boasting of the United States’ high test numbers, Trump lamented that an increase of testing leads to an increase of confirmed cases, and an increase of confirmed cases—well—isn’t a good look!
“By having more tests, we find more cases. We did 25 plus. 25 million tests. Think of that, 25 million. If you look at other countries—they did one million, two million, three million, big countres—we did 25 million. Way more, by double, triple, quadruple, any other county. Therefore, we test, we’re going to have more cases. By having more cases, it sounds bad. But, actually, what it is is we’re finding people.”
Trump is likely ignoring per-capita testing totals, a stat that the United States really doesn’t have much to call home about. And Trump’s claim that covid-19 cases are going up simply because testing is increasing isn’t necessarily true. According to the Washington Post, back when testing was first ramping up in the Spring, testing might have triggered an increase in cases. But there hasn’t been a huge uptick in testing as of late, and the number of confirmed covid-19 cases have still emerged in various hotspots.
Trump said that covid-19 testing is a “double-edged sword” but insisted that, “We are doing a great job, we have never been credited for it!” It’s worth noting that last week, Trump called covid-19 testing “overrated.”
The United States has the highest covid-19 death toll in the world at 120,451 deaths. States like Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas have seen an abrupt spike in covid-19 hospitalizations, and doctors are beginning to see a higher number of young patients in their wards. Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere, and the United States’ reputation as a covid-19 cesspool isn’t either if Trump continues to prioritize remedying poor press over saving lives. But don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Trump is content to chuck Americans another stimulus check, convinced it will distract us while his incompetency continues apace.