COVID-19: ‘Slow the testing down’, President Trump tells officials

United States President, Donald Trump said on Saturday that he urged health officials in his administration to slow down coronavirus testing, arguing that increased tests lead to more cases being discovered.

The president had on previous occasions attributed the surge of COVID-19 infections in several states to the greater numbers of diagnostic tests.

The United States — which has more deaths and cases than any other country — has carried out more than 25 million coronavirus tests, placing it outside the top 20 countries in the world, per capita.

“Here is the bad part: When you do test to that extent, you are going to find more people, you will find more cases,” Trump argued.

“So I said to my people ‘slow the testing down.’ They test and they test.”

However, a White House official told AFP that Trump “was clearly speaking in jest to call out the media’s absurd coverage. We are leading the world in testing, and we are proud to have conducted 25 million-plus tests.”

The campaign of presidential challenger Joe Biden called Trump’s order to slow testing “appalling” and “a transparent attempt to make the numbers look better.”

Coronavirus cases have spiked in several states, including Oklahoma, and local health officials had asked Trump to postpone the rally, fearing it would contribute to the spread.

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