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

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Plea deal results in guilty plea in fatal Langley shooting in 2017

First degree murder charge amended to conspiracy to commit murder

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Abbotsford considers hiking development fees for new houses – and schools and churches

City considers hiking development cost charges on new institutional and agriculture buildings

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read